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Batteries Made Of Lithium Jelly To Come To Market Soon?

A team of researchers from the University of Leeds led by Professor Ian Ward has developed a new kind of polymer gel (or jelly) that is likely to be the ideal substitute for the liquid electrolyte currently used in the majority of lithium batteries.

The technology is likely to make lithium batteries more affordable and safer than they currently are. An added benefit is that it will pack more power per unit volume as well as allowing for smaller batteries (or batteries of equal volume but with a higher capacity).

Jelly batteries could also be the breakthrough the electric car industry needs to bring it to a more mainstream market.

Four other advantages of the this technology are; that Jelly batteries will be easier to mould, should not leak even if the enclosure is broken, don't need an internal separator and will prevent so-called thermal runaway when batteries can catch fire.

Speaking to the BBC (opens in new tab), Professor Ward explained: "The polymer gel looks like a solid film, but it actually contains about 70% liquid electrolyte," before adding, "the remarkable thing is that we can make the separation between the solid and liquid phase at the point that it hits the electrodes."

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.