I saw this today:http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/bett ... -0725.html
http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelli ... oline/7975
MIT researchers have found a way to improve the energy density of a type of battery known as lithium-air (or lithium-oxygen) batteries, producing a device that could potentially pack several times more energy per pound than the lithium-ion batteries that now dominate the market for rechargeable devices in everything from cellphones to cars.
The work is a continuation of a project that last year demonstrated improved efficiency in lithium-air batteries through the use of noble-metal-based catalysts. In principle, lithium-air batteries have the potential to pack even more punch for a given weight than lithium-ion batteries because they replace one of the heavy solid electrodes with a porous carbon electrode that stores energy by capturing oxygen from air flowing through the system, combining it with lithium ions to form lithium oxides. <continue reading
The net effect is more time between discharges, less weight, and an energy density much closer to gasoline than previous attempts at the technology. The battery can store four times more energy for its weight than current lithium-ion battery electrodes, MIT stated in its press release.
Shao-Horn noted that more work was necessary before the technology could become commercialized; nonetheless, science bloggers have already begun to visualize its use in the transportation industry, and even in the creation of hybrid aircraft.
Lithium peroxide sticks to carbon nanotubes as the battery discharges. Photo: Courtesy of Mitchell, Gallant, and Shao-Horn.