New water batteries from Korea recharge in just 30 seconds

The Korea Institute of Advanced Science and Technology (KAIST) has created a new water-based battery design that outperforms its predecessors hundreds of times over the entire spectrum of baselines. And this is an occasion to remind once again that the dominance of lithium-ion batteries in our life is not eternal, but something new should come to replace them. For example, water batteries - in principle, they cannot ignite or explode.

Korean engineers have succeeded in designing extremely efficient anode and cathode designs that operate in a water-based electrolyte environment. They created two plates from a combination of polymer and graphene, which have a huge number of micropores and, as a result, a colossal surface area. In the anode, the pores are empty; in the cathode, they are initially filled with nickel oxide particles several nanometers in size.

Thanks to this, the power density of the battery has increased a hundredfold, the rate of reactions and recharging is now measured in only tens of seconds, and the wear after 100, 000 recharge cycles is a few fractions of a percent. However, the capacity of the prototype is extremely small and so far it can only work with low-power systems. For example, collect energy from a photovoltaic plate illuminated by a flashlight and activate a conventional LED.

Fast recharging speed, phenomenal battery reliability and convenience when using compact energy sources. Three key benefits that should help commercialize the development and create water batteries for portable electronic devices. Plus, this technology is environmentally friendly and cheap to implement, but still looks exotic in the eyes of big business.