South Korean scientists able to dramatically reduce the charging time of lithium-ion batteries

August 16, 2012
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Lithium-Ion Battery Recharge Time
As you guys may well be aware, South Korea is the home country for two of the biggest electronics manufacturers in the world: Samsung and LG. That being said, it surely isn’t surprising to see many breakthroughs in various sectors of the consumer electronics field being announced from this Asian country. Today I’m happy to report on one such breakthrough, one that addresses what is arguably the main problem in the industry today: batteries.

During the past few months we’ve seen scientists from around the world working on graphene-based batteries. While many believe that graphene is the next step in battery evolution, I wouldn’t count on such prototypes heading for mass manufacturing anytime soon. South Korean scientists have, however, recently published research results that could lead to a major improvement in the current battery type, those based on Li-Ion.According to these scientists, they have developed a method for charging large lithium-ion batteries — such as those found inside electric cars, — in just a few minutes instead of many hours.

This is accomplished by adding a network of carbonized graphite conductors throughout a battery’s electrodes. For all intents and purposes, the dense structure of a regular lithium-ion battery is transformed into a big network of smaller anode/cathode groups that are squeezed tightly together. This way, the modified battery will charge evenly throughout its entire structure, rather than charging progressively inward from the terminals. The physics of the discharge phenomena, as well as the battery’s energy density level do not suffer at all, while the entire charging process takes a whole lot less to complete. It looks like it’s all upsides!

Unfortunately though, this new technology is somewhat limited in smaller batteries (such as those inside smartphones and tablets) due to their smaller size. The technology is more applicable to larger batteries that are found inside electric cars. Nevertheless, this new tech should, if applied to mobile devices as well, improve the charge time of your smartphone’s battery.

“The research is especially remarkable in that it overcame limitations of existing lithium-ion batteries,” says  professor Cho Jae-Phil from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology. The research team mentioned that it will probably take about 10 years before this new discovery will become available for mass production.

What do you guys think? How cool would it be to be able to charge your electric car in 15-20 minutes before getting back on the road? Or to completely charge your smartphone’s battery in about 10 minutes or so? Any Droid MAXX owners that would to see that happening as soon as possible? Let us know in the comment section below!

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