As we all know, modern batteries have a lot of trouble in cold areas. I’ve found out often enough when I tried to start my old car on a cold day but it just wouldn’t. Studies show, that at a temperature of -40° C drains the power of a normal battery down to 12%. That’s not enough if you work in Canada or Russia during the winter.

But chinese scientists now invented a new form of rechargable battery that has the same output at -70° that it has at normal room temperature.

Now how does this work?

There are different approaches to keeping batteries working at low temperatures. One, commonly used, is to add some supplement into the electrolyte, the liquid in which the charged particles move around. Another option is to isolate and heat the Lithium-Ion-cell from the outside.

The chinese team around scientist Yongyao searched for a new way. They chose the organic substance Ethyl acetate, because it only starts freezing at -84° C. Into it, they added a small amount of lithium salts.

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a photograph of Yongyao Xia in the laboratory.

These new batteries not only have the benefit of surviving in cold temperatures, they are, as alrady stated also organic and therefore cheap as well as good for the environment.

Do they have a future?

Sadly, in their current state, those batteries just don’t bring the power of their ancestor, the Lithium-Ion-Battery. Right now the scientists want to use them as a secondary power source when travelling in extremely cold areas. It could be used to keep the regular battery heated, so it can use it full power.

 

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