Air Batteries?

Hopefully this will pan out. New forms of energy storage are always being discussed but have yet to deliver at the levels we need.

Scientists say the revolutionary ‘STAIR’ (St Andrews Air) battery could now pave the way for a new generation of electric cars, laptops and mobile phones.
The cells are charged in a traditional way but as power is used or ‘discharged’ an open mesh section of battery draws in oxygen from the surrounding air.

This oxygen reacts with a porous carbon component inside the battery, which creates more energy and helps to continually ‘charge’ the cell as it is being discharged.
By replacing the traditional chemical constituent, lithium cobalt oxide, with porous carbon and oxygen drawn from the air, the cell is much lighter than current batteries.
And as the cycle of air helps re-charge the battery as it is used, it has a greater storage capacity than other similar-sized cells and can emit power up to 10 times longer.

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4 Comments

  1. As an aside, consider the funding for these researchers. It undoubtedly springs from the “government funding due to AGW” well, as does thousands upon thousands of such grants to scientific teams throughout the west. So, how do you think think these people think of AGW? As a waste? Or as a great danger which means you have to give them more money?

    This is why the left has always tried, usually successfully, to chase government weapons technology studies and their funding off campus. This is they are constantly warning about the “military industrial complex”.

    If you look at AGW in it’s Al Gore incarnation – you can see in the abstract the idea to create an environmentally based military industrial complex (MIC). It makes sense if considered from the POV of the left, which believes the MIC is an unnecessary appendix to the modern state – self perpetuated by targeted government funding and apocalyptic scare stories about what will happen if we let down our guard.

    The left couldn’t get rid of the MIC, so they built one of their own, instead. Undoubtedly there will be some advances due to the increased spending on energy research – we got the microcomputer and GPS from ICBM technology studies – but in the AGW case the end product – power projection – is targeted at our own people and society instead of external potential enemies.

  2. Yep. Enron was pilloried as an archetype of an evil corporation, but they’re trying to do it on an even larger scale now with GE and the federal government in cahoots.

    Still, I have been reading about a lot of interesting nano-technologies and if this is real, it could be very liberating.

  3. Here’s the part of the famous Eisenhower “military-industrial complex” speed the lefties never talk about:

    “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
    In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

  4. What Eisenhower said is true, and was in fact one of the things that seriously hurt the Soviet Union early on as those ignorant revolutionaries became heavily dependent on scientists, who like any other group of people, can be prone to hubris and ideology (if not moreso as intellectuals tend to be egomaniacs).

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