American technology company IBM is currently investigating whether it is possible to develop a battery that does not contain heavy metals, such as cobalt. The components are said to be found in seawater, but remain secret for the time being. The benefits are less secret.
Durable alternative to lithium-ion batteries
Scientists worldwide are looking for new and above all sustainable technologies to produce batteries. Current lithium-ion batteries, for example, may power electric and thus ecological cars, they contain cobalt and other heavy metals. The circumstances surrounding cobalt mining also raise many questions. That is why IBM will collaborate with three other companies to take a closer look at the possibilities of a sustainable alternative. Those three companies are battery manufacturer Sidus, the North American research division of car maker Mercedes-Benz, and the electrolyte supplier Central Glass. In a first announcement, IBM says they found three components in seawater that could replace the heavy metals in the batteries. Although IBM does not say for the time being which seawater components these are.
The first tests have been completed successfully. IBM states that the new battery will function better than a lithium-ion battery. The charging time would be very short: 80% charged within five minutes. Finally, IBM battery would be cheaper, less flammable, more energy efficient and much more durable.