New Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Could Last 3 Times Longer Than Lithium-Ion

via Gizmodo by Dan Nosowitz on 6/10/09

Scientists at the University of Waterloo have designed a lithium-sulfur battery that, thanks to nanotechnology, is capable of 3 times the power of lithium-ion batteries with equal volume while remaining both lighter and cheaper to produce. Long-distance electric cars, anyone?

The different atomic structure of the battery and knowledge of nanotechnology are what make this battery different. They used “mesoporous carbon, a material that presents a highly uniform pore structure at nanoscale level,” to allow for a more efficient design:

The team assembled a nanostructure of carbon rods separated by empty channels, sulfur was then melted to fill the tiny voids thanks to capillary forces. All the spaces were uniformly filled with sulfur, thus maximizing the surface area in direct contact with carbon and boosting battery efficiency.

We’ve been needing a new battery technology for awhile now, especially for electric cars, so here’s hoping they can get these lithium-sulfur batteries into production as soon as possible and that they deliver on the possibilities we see here. If it really is capable of three times the batter life, we’re talking about something like a 730-mile range on a Tesla, 20 hours on a MacBook, or half a week on an iPod, all without added bulk or expense!

[Gizmag via DVICE]

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HP Recalling 70,000 Laptop Batteries Over Fire Hazard Concerns

via Gizmodo by Sean Fallon on 5/14/09

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall of 70,000 lithium-ion batteries used in Hewlett-Packard and Compaq laptops. Apparently, there have been at two reported cases where the batteries caught on fire.

The battery packs were sold separately and in laptops between August 2007 through March 2008. Naturally, if you think you might be affected, it might be a good idea to check and see if your battery matches the ones pictured in the gallery before using it again. Hit up the following link for more details.

[HP and CPSC via Ubergizmo]