Batteries of the Future

It seems that ever since I was a child, I have been looking for longer-lasting batteries. As an adult, the toys I play with have become more sophisticated, and certainly more expensive, but I continue to want more battery life. Luckily, I am not alone, and there are several companies that are trying to extend battery life while keeping the size small. Here are some of the more interesting ideas:

Sony recently introduced a bio-cell battery that uses paper to create power. It is an interesting process. The battery has an enzyme that breaks the paper down into glucose. This currently produces enough power to operate a small fan, but if Sony can perfect this, I predict junk mail will become popular.

It seems that Apple’s bane is the battery, from ones that explode  to others that just don’t last as promised. Apple is hoping to develop a battery that is powered by hydrogen. The hope is that by using this light, common element, Apple will have an eco-friendly battery that will last weeks without a recharge.

Stanford University has created a battery that is see-through and flexible. The battery is made of a grid-like mesh that is coated with silicon. The trenches of the mesh are filled with a gel electrolyte. The resulting battery is not only transparent but also extremely thin. Researchers are currently struggling with the same issue that most battery manufacturers have: the life of the battery is not long enough.

With all these battery options on our horizon, hopefully our future will be shiny and bright.

Author: Susan Hallinan

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