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Old Mar 7, 2005, 10:06 PM   #1
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http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7081

Wonder how long it will be before those show up in production? Likely to be some incremental increases along the way as manufacturing techniques are ramped up.
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 10:37 PM   #2
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BillDrew wrote:
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Wonder how long it will be before those show up in production?
I wouldn't hold your breath too long. It looks promising, but having reviewed all the new systems as they came along as an electrochemicalprofessional, and then with a retired professional's photographic eye, I'm cautious, especially about patent claims.

The UK "Guardian" newspaper had another interesting development in its science & computer supplement the other day - the polymer battery that forms the case of the appliance. However, this idea has been around a long time and hasn't been commercialised yet.

Remember that we electrochemists have been working on the lead-acid battery for 150 years and haven't quite got it quite right yet. They are pretty good for most applications, though. I wouldn't object much even now to a sealed lead-acid on my digicam. It's not long since I had one for my camcorder.The capacity of the Li-ion one on my current camcorder is ludicrously excessive for my normal use. Also the charging regimes for all the smart new developments are excessively complex compared with the straightforward constant voltage for lead-acid.

Ni-MH is now beautifully well developed, reliable, and understood by many users. I do hope it doesn't go away too quickly as we're all encouraged to spent lots of money on the industry's latest efforts.


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Old Mar 8, 2005, 5:35 AM   #3
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BTW, according (erroneously) to the article's author, the cells work "by forcing lithium ions from a lithium cobalt oxide cathode to migrate to a carbon anode".

He means "to a carbon electrode that will bethe anode when you're discharging the cell". If they can make a powerfully electropositive lithium ion migrate from a cathode (electron supplier) to an anode (electron sink), they really have achieved a historical breakthrough.

Yours pedantically, Alan T
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 4:34 PM   #4
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And I suppose you are still skeptical about the findings of Pons and Fleischmann. Even though it has been proven to be as true as dowsing, alien abduction, and crop circles!!

Your's must have been an interesting field when that came out. I recall platinum futures dropping dramatically for a month or two after their findings came out (escaped?).
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 5:45 PM   #5
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BillDrew wrote:
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still skeptical about the findings of Pons and Fleischmann.
Yup! Martin Fleischmann was one of our great gurus, an acquaintaince of mine, and a close friend of many of my colleagues, so the cold fusion business was allrather distressing. However, another of the UK electrochemistry stars, David Williams (of University College London and elsewhere), then at Harwell, did a very thorough debunking job.

I myself am quite keen on the idea of the clockwork chargers for camera, phone, & laptop batteries, which are gradually beginning to appear. The tiny methanol-air fuel cell exists and might also get commercialised before long. It's likely to stay expensive, but it might well beat everything else for energy density.

These won't save the world as cold fusion would if it existed, but they'd keep our little AA Ni-MH cells going for a long time.


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