Testing has shown rechargeable graphene aluminium ion batteries had a battery life of up to three times that of current leading lithium-ion batteries, and higher power density meant they charged up to 70 times faster.
Queensland University has teamed up with the Graphene Manufacturing Group, a Brisbane company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada, to manufacture aluminium ion battery prototypes for use in consumer goods like watches, phones, cars and laptops as well as for grid storage.
Aluminium-ion batteries have a relatively short shelf life. The combination of heat, rate of charge, and cycling can dramatically decrease energy capacity. One of the primary reasons for this short shelf life is the fracture of the traditional graphite anode, the Al ions being far larger than the Li ions used in conventional battery systems. When metal ion batteries are fully discharged, they can no longer be recharged. Ionic electrolytes, while improving safety and the long term stability of the devices by minimizing corrosion, are expensive to manufacture and purchase and may therefore be unsuited to the mass production of Al ion devices. In addition, current breakthroughs are only in limited laboratory settings, where a lot more work needs to be done on scaling up the production for use in commercial settings.
Dozens of major research institutions are working on Aluminum ion batteries.