Singapore Researchers Invent New Anode For Faster Battery Charging, Increased Longevity

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
singapore researchers invent new anode for faster battery charging increased

One of the main roadblocks to wide adoption of EVs is how quickly the battery can be fully charged. While Tesla’s Supercharger could put a Model S P85D back on the road in 30 minutes to an hour, a Dodge Charger Hellcat can pull up to and away from the pump in three minutes, barring a run inside the 7-Eleven for a cup of coffee and a couple of donuts.

That roadblock may come down sooner than later, thanks to researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technology University.

The university recently unveiled a new battery that could be recharged to 70 percent capacity within two minutes, and boasts a lifespan of 20 years over the two to three years of life found in current lithium-ion batteries.

The secret? Replacing the graphite anode in those batteries with a nanogel composed of titanium oxide, a chemical commonly found in soil, sunscreen and food. Invented by Professor Chen Xiaodong at the university’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, the gel will be taken to the next level with a proof-of-concept grant to help fund a large-scale prototype.

Meanwhile, at least one company has already purchased a license to develop the titanium oxide battery for production down the road. Chen himself believes his invention will enter the marketplace within the next two years, knocking down more than just the long-charging barrier in so doing:

Electric cars will be able to increase their range dramatically, with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars.

Equally important, we can now drastically cut down the toxic waste generated by disposed batteries, since our batteries last ten times longer than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries.

Ease of manufacturing and lower replacement costs may further widespread adoption within the industry, in turn increasing adoption rates for whatever EVs come down the line in the future; the nanogel — a mixture of titanium oxide and sodium hydroxide — is stirred together at a given temperature for easier integration into current production systems.

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  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Oct 17, 2014

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This would revolutionize not only personal transportation, but geopolitics. If there were anything in this story, the major media, the NYT, The WaPo, NPR, and various other outlets that have competent science writing staffs would have been all over it.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Oct 18, 2014

      I'm optimistic. A few years ago many of the electronic toys and devices we now accept as common every day items did not exist. Tech made that happen. Solar is coming down in price. Wind-generation is so over-abundant that many windmills don't even turn most of the time. They're even building a new nuclear plant, unheard of since 1973. Better tech made that happen. As technology builds upon itself I would like to believe that the best is yet to come. AC generation used to be a real bulky affair but out of three relatively small generators I am able to crank out nearly 120KW to keep my home electrified during brown-outs and black-outs so common in my area.

  • Dragthemagicpuffin Dragthemagicpuffin on Oct 18, 2014

    They tell us it's gonna take two minutes to charge the thing, but what's really gonna happen is you're gonna pay for $20 worth of charge and then when it gets to $19.50 it's gonna tick away at one watt per second for an extra two minutes while you pull your hair out.

  • Inside Looking Out You should care. With GM will die America. All signs are there. How about the Arsenal of Democracy? Toyota?
  • DenverMike What else did anyone think, when GM was losing tens of billions a year, year after year?
  • Bill Wade GM says they're killing Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Any company that makes decisions like that is doomed to die.
  • Jeff S I don't believe gm will die but that it will continue to shrink in product and market share and it will probably be acquired by a foreign manufacturer. I doubt gm lacks funds as it did in 2008 and that they have more than enough cash at hand but gm will not expand as it did in the past and the emphasis is more on profitability and cutting costs to the bone. Making gm a more attractive takeover target and cut costs at the expense of more desirable and reliable products. At the time of Farago's article I was in favor of the Government bailout more to save jobs and suppliers but today I would not be in favor of the bailout. My opinions on gm have changed since 2008 and 2009 and now I really don't care if gm survives or not.
  • Kwik_Shift I was a GM fan boy until it ended in 2013 when I traded in my Avalanche to go over to Nissan.