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New "Ultra-Battery" as Energy-Dense as High Explosives

• Christopher Mims via Technology Review

The energy density of batteries is tremendously important as an enabler of new technologies. Meanwhile, the scramble to create ever more powerful batteries has even led some manufacturers to contemplate powering cell phones with energy-dense hydrocarbons like propane.

This is why the claims made for an extremely early-stage "ultra-battery" recently announced in the journal Nature Chemistry are so remarkable.

"If you think about it, [this] is the most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy," said inventor Choong-Shik Yoo of Washington State University. Yoo's ultra-battery consists of "xenon difluoride (XeF2), a white crystal used to etch silicon conductors," compressed to an ultra-dense state inside a diamond vice exerting a pressure of more than two million atmospheres.

2 Comments in Response to

Comment by Die Daily
Entered on:

Poobah is absolutely correct. This technology is not even remotely suitable for "batteries". It would be like powering your cellphone with nitroglycerin. Many of the statements in the article, such as "If you think about it, [this] is the most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy," are at best misleading. It is not at all reassuring that perturbing a single molecule will explode the entire structure. One stray wave/particle of ionizing radiation and KABOOM. Yet this is mentioned as somehow pertaining to future batteries? Ludicrous.

Comment by Doug Nusbaum
Entered on:

don't you just love it when people ignorant of the real world get involved in making statements that have a political edge.  FWIW, explosives have little more energy than most flammable substances.   What makes something explosive is NOT its energy density, but its burn rate, and the fact that it does not need oxygen.  Of course, since oxidizer is included with the explosive, its energy density may be even less than, say gasoline, since the oxidizer occupies space and has weight

Think of rockets vs planes that get their oxidizer from the air and do not have to carry it.

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