Mobile phone batteries with up to three times the lifespan of current technology could be a reality thanks to an innovation led by engineers at RMIT University.
Rather than throwing batteries away after two or three years, we could have recyclable batteries that last up to nine years, the team says, by using high-frequency sound waves to remove rust that inhibits battery performance. .
The research is published in Nature Communication.
Only 10% of used portable batteries, including for cell phones, are collected for recycling in Australia, which is low by international standards. The remaining 90% of batteries go to landfill or are disposed of incorrectly, causing considerable damage to the environment.
The high cost of recycling lithium and other battery materials is a major barrier to reusing these elements, but the team’s innovation could help address this challenge.
The team is working with a nanomaterial called MXene, a class of materials they believe promises to be an attractive alternative to lithium for batteries in the future.
Leslie Yeo, professor emeritus of chemical engineering at RMIT’s School of Engineering and senior principal investigator, said MXene was similar to graphene with high electrical conductivity.
“Unlike graphene, MXenes are highly customizable and open up a whole range of possible technology applications in the future,” Yeo said.
The big challenge with using MXene was that it rusts easily, thereby inhibiting electrical conductivity and rendering it unusable, he said, adding, “To overcome this challenge, we discovered that the sound waves at some frequency remove rust from MXene, the restaurant to close to its original state.”
The team’s innovation could one day help revitalize MXene batteries every few years, extending their lifespan by up to three times, he said.
“The ability to extend the shelf life of MXene is critical to ensuring its potential for use in commercially viable electronic parts,” Yeo said.
How innovation works
Co-lead author Hossein Alijani, a Ph.D. candidate from RMIT’s School of Engineering, said the biggest challenge with using MXene is the rust that forms on its surface in a humid environment. or when suspended in aqueous solutions.
“Surface oxide, which is rust, is difficult to remove, especially on this material, which is much, much thinner than a human hair,” Alijani said. “Current methods used to reduce oxidation rely on the chemical coating of the material, which limits the use of MXene in its native form. In this work, we show that exposure of an oxidized MXene film to vibration at high frequency for just one minute removes rust on the film. This simple procedure recovers its electrical and electrochemical performance.”
Potential applications of the team’s work
The team says their work to remove rust from Mxene opens the door to using the nanomaterial in a wide range of applications in energy storage, sensors, wireless transmission and sanitation. environment.
Associate Professor Amgad Rezk of RMIT’s School of Engineering, one of the senior senior researchers, said the ability to quickly restore oxidized materials to near-pristine condition was a game-changer in terms of the circular economy.
“Materials used in electronics, including batteries, typically experience deterioration after two or three years of use due to rust formation,” Rezk said. “With our method, we can potentially extend the life of battery components by up to three times.”
While the innovation is promising, the team needs to work with industry to integrate its acoustic device into existing systems and manufacturing processes. The team is also exploring the use of their invention to remove oxide layers from other materials for sensing and renewable energy applications.
“We want to collaborate with industry partners so that our rust removal method can be scaled up,” Yeo said.
Heba Ahmed et al, Recovery of oxidized two-dimensional MXenes by high-frequency nanoscale electromechanical vibration, Nature Communication (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-34699-3
Provided by RMIT University
Quote: Recyclable Mobile Phone Batteries Closer to Rust Invention (2023, Jan 24) Retrieved Jan 24, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-01-recyclable-mobile-batteries-closer-rust- busting.html
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