We Need A Revolution In Battery Technology

The desire for better batteries has never been greater. With so many mobile devices comes an even greater need to have reliable batteries with a much greater capacity. The best batteries we have are atrocious compared to gasoline and other forms of energy. Here is a graph from Wikipedia

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The bottom left corner shows Lithium Ion Batteries. Their energy density is 0.72MJ/kg 1and 1.5MJ/l. Compare that to 47.2MJ/kg and 34MJ/l for gasoline.

Suppose we had a massive breakthrough right now that gave us a battery technology with those energy densitiies. Many impossible things would be very possible. It wouldn’t just be that our phones and laptops lasted longer, entire industries would change. Electric cars would immediately wipe out all the competition. That alone id a dignificant change.

Electric cars which last a long time are a dream. Much queiter for one, and more environmentally friendly. They’re not perfect- that electricity they’re using has to come from somewhere and in some cases it comes from a coal power plant. It is more efficient than allowing each car their own engine though, so it’s a big positive. Cities in China would be most impacted. Over there their cities are riddled with smog and electric cars would go a long way to solve that proble.

All those gasoline statinos would go out of business and that’s a good thing. They are inherently unsafe. To get more petrol is a dangerous job. A truck full of the stuff has to drive there. That’s crazy. There have been many incidents where a tanker has overturned and killed people in the explosion. There have even been incidents in poor countries like africa where people have gathered around an overturned tanker and tried to gather up the petrolium gasoline that has been spilled only to be killed by a huge explosion trigged by only a tiny spark.

Climbing mount everest would be much less challenging. The mose difficult aspect of it is the cost. If that was removed it would be tough. With batteries with high densities, clothes with heating built into them would work. Think how an electric blanket works except instead of being the shape of a blanket it would be clothes shaped and run on a battery. It would be fantastic. Of course it would still be very tough to climb mount Everest and would take a lot of training but that’s a lot of the difficulty taken out of it, dealing with the cold.

Tools that typically use gasoline or diesel would now use electrical power via batteries. Things like lawn mowers and leaf blowers. It would make them slightly quieter as there is no engine inside them but more importantly they would be more safe and more reliable. Dealing with oil is a dirty job.

I think that making these devices entirely electronic makes it easier for software to be used with it. Instead of having many buttons that do different things, there would just be a touchscreen on the device that had all the options you needed after you navigated through the easily understood menu. This means there’s fewer moving parts and hence increases the reliability of the device. In cars in particular there’s far too many buttons and knobs. All of that could go with the introduction of a touchscreen panel.

Rocket ships would still have to be powered by fuel. A battery could never generate the power needed for liftoff without being of a too large size. It basically needs a controlled explosion in order to get sufficient thrust for escape velocity.

It would revolutionize our world. The breakthrough would be undoubtedly one of the biggest breakthroughs of all time. We need a genius to help us solve our issues. Many scientists are working on this problem as we speak but none of them are bright enough to solve it. There have been small success stories such as making batteries with a greater power output but less capacity. More money needs to be put towards paying scientists to find materials and methods to reach this goal.

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