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News Link • Energy

Cheap new alloy may double the storage of lithium batteries

• by Nick Lavars

So there is interest from many quarters in boosting their performance with advanced materials that make them lighter, more compact and able to hold more energy. A new tin-aluminum alloy developed by engineers in Texas might deliver on all three aspects, and it might even make them faster and cheaper to produce at the same time.

For years, mass-produced lithium-ion batteries have relied on graphite and copper for their anodes, the component that stores the energy as the battery charges. And for years, researchers have sought out alternative materials that could overcome the limitations of those materials, which include a high cost of production and limited storage capacity (silicon, for example, could store 10 times as much energy, although it poses another set of problems).

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