University students in China are developing a calcium battery to replace lithium-ion batteries

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University students in China are developing a calcium battery to replace lithium-ion batteries

A team of bright minds at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, has made a leap forward that could change the way we power our world. They have developed a new type of battery that is not only rechargeable, but also uses calcium, a metal much more abundant than lithium, which currently dominates the battery market. This technology promises to make batteries cheaper and more environmentally friendly, a significant step toward sustainable energy solutions.

Calcium, which is abundant in the earth’s crust, makes these batteries a viable option for widespread use. Unlike the lithium-ion cells that power most of our modern gadgets, calcium batteries do not rely on rare or expensive materials such as nickel, cobalt, and manganese. Instead, they use carbon as a cathode material, which significantly reduces costs and environmental impact.

Published in the prestigious journal Nature, this study demonstrates batteries that can withstand 700 charge-discharge cycles at room temperature without losing efficiency. This is a breakthrough for calcium batteries, which are known for their safety and stable performance.

These developments come at a very important time. As demand for lithium grows rapidly due to the boom in new energy vehicles and renewable energy storage solutions, experts are warning of a potential shortage. New calcium-based batteries, with their high theoretical energy density, are a great alternative. They get oxygen from the air, eliminating the need to store the material in the battery itself, which has been a limiting factor in their development.

The Fudan team’s success lies in the creation of a new liquid electrolyte that meets the stringent requirements for battery electrodes while preventing calcium reactions that can reduce capacity. This electrolyte not only conducts ions efficiently at room temperature, but also ensures battery safety.

Although there is still a long way to go before these batteries can match the lifespan of modern lithium-ion cells, their potential use in portable electronics, wearables and more is undeniable. In addition, the ability to integrate these batteries into flexible textiles opens up new avenues for innovation.

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