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Bye Bye Batteries?

Clever boffins over at Imperial College, London, have announced their intention to kill off the battery once and for all.

They’re working on a $4.5m project to develop a lightweight material capable of storing electricity.  The carbon fibre based polymer resin is already patented and will be light enough to form the casing of anything from MP3 players to car bodies.

In addition, unlike batteries the substance’s performance won’t degrade over time because the electricity storage and release doesn’t rely upon a chemical reaction.

Researchers are already talking about a 15% reduction in the weight of electric cars, giving them a greatly enhanced range, and a significantly faster charging process.

On the smaller scale, if you remove the battery from your mobile phone and then consider the difference in weight and size requirements, you’ll understand how this could revolutionise portable electric devices as well.

Just one note of caution: no details have been released of what the substance is made of or how recyclable it will be.  These are the early days of the project, so let’s hope they team focuses on being sustainable as well as just clean.

Picture Credit: Batteries by johnseb from flickr under Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Written By

is a seasoned sustainability journalist focusing on business, finance and clean technology. His writing's been carried by a number of highly respected publishers, including The Guardian, The Washington Post and Scientific American. You can follow him on twitter as @britesprite, where he's one of Mashable's top green tweeters and Fast Company's CSR thought leaders. Alternatively you can follow him to the shops... but that would be boring.


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