Cambridge scientists make breakthrough on "super battery" which can power a car from London to Edinburgh

 
Jessica Morris
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The development of Lithium air batteries has been beset with problems (Source: Getty)

Cambridge scientists are a step closer to developing a so-called "super battery", which could power a car from London to Edinburgh in one charge.

Lithium-air batteries have been touted as the next generation of batteries, due to their theoretical ability to store ten times more energy than lithium-ion batteries.

But their development has been beset with problems, such as low efficiency and unwanted chemical reactions. And lack of innovation has held back the widespread adoption of clean technologies, such as electric cars.

Now researchers have created a working laboratory prototype of a lithium-air battery, suggesting some of these hurdles can be overcome. Their model has very high energy density, is more than 90 per cent efficient, and can be recharged more than 2,000 times.

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But alas, the researchers added real-life usage could still be more than a decade away.

“What we’ve achieved is a significant advance for this technology and suggests whole new areas for research – we haven’t solved all the problems inherent to this chemistry, but our results do show routes forward towards a practical device,” said Professor Clare Grey of Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, the paper’s senior author.

The research was published in the journal Science.

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