With everything from cars, to trucks, to even airplanes going electric, the demand for batteries is going to continue to skyrocket in the coming years—but the availability of the materials currently used to make them is limited. So scientists at IBM Research have developed a new battery whose unique ingredients can be extracted from seawater instead of mining. The problems with the design of current battery technologies like lithium-ion are well known, we just tend to turn a blind eye when it means our smartphones can run for a full day without a charge. In addition to lithium, they require heavy metals like cobalt, manganese, and nickel which come from giant mines that present hazards to the environment, and often to those doing the actual mining. These metals are also a finite resource, and as more and more devices and vehicles switch to battery power, their availability is going to decrease at a staggering pace. As a potential solution, scientists at IBM Research’s Battery Lab came up with a new design that replaces the need for cobalt and nickel in the cathode, and also uses a new liquid electrolyte (the material in a battery that helps ions move from […]

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