Rechargeable Nickle-Zinc Batteries Safer Than Lithium-Ion Counterparts, Claim Researchers

Scientists have developed a safer alternative to fire-prone lithium-ion batteries, which are common in household devices such as smartphones and laptops.

Researchers at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed the nickel-zinc (Ni-Zn) batteries in which a three-dimensional (3D) Zn “sponge” replaces the powdered zinc anode, or positively charged electrode, traditionally used.

With 3D Zn, the battery provides an energy content and rechargeability that rival lithium-ion batteries while avoiding the safety issues that continue to plague lithium.

“The 3D sponge form factor allows us to reimagine zinc, a well-known battery material, for the 21st century,” said Debra Rolison from NRL’s Advanced Electrochemical Materials group.

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