October 16, 2021

Super-battery technology for smartphones for 9 years without recharging, electric cars for centuries

Depending on the power consumption, this non-rechargeable battery can be used for a long time.

The phone battery can be used continuously for 9 years without recharging, a battery pack can run an electric vehicle for 100 years and the battery module provides continuous power to the pacemaker for 28,000 years.

NDB battery module (source: PHYS)

The NDB says it can extract carbon-14 from the graphite nuclear waste and inject it into diamonds. As the nuclear waste decomposes, it interacts with the carbon to generate a small electric current.These surreal claims were recently made by an energy company called NDB in California.

The key to this amazing battery is to make use of this extremely polluting waste, with radiant energy that exists for thousands of years. Every year, nuclear power plant facilities generate large amounts of waste and safe disposal (landfill and packaging) is an issue.

Depending on the power consumption, this  non-rechargeable battery can be used for a long time. It is used to power conventional mobile devices, medical products, satellites … and can provide energy for remote areas.

However, the company has not produced a prototype of the product, but only made a concept model. “Imagine a world where you don’t need to be recharged in a day,” said Neel Naicker, NDB Chief Strategy Officer. What if the battery could provide power for decades? “.

Without a doubt, this idea is intriguing. It is written on the official NDB website that by 2040, let’s reshape electricity and create a planet without using fossil fuels.

The basic principles behind this concept are not really new. The use of radioisotopes as an energy source is already well known in specialty devices, such as modern nuclear-powered submarines, aircraft carriers and even Mars probes. can produce electricity without safety issues.

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However, the NDB’s use of nuclear waste to generate electricity still raises cautious suspicion in the science and technology community.

According to official information, the NDB diamond battery concept is led by Sir Michael Pepper, a physicist from Cambridge University, the Newton Medalist of the Institute of Physics in 2019, and the father of the substance. Semiconductor.

In the process, the battery (patented by NDB) achieved a breakthrough at 40% charge. The core technology is the result of its proprietary nano diamond surface treatment, which can efficiently extract the charge from the diamond.

This is not the first time that diamond-coated nuclear waste batteries have been proposed and have caused a lot of controversy.

In 2016, a team of researchers from the University of Bristol, UK, announced they had developed an artificial diamond that can generate a small electric current when placed in a radioactive field. This technology was developed to solve a number of problems. Nuclear waste issues, clean electricity generation and battery life.

The team at the time displayed a prototype diamond battery that used nickel-63 as the radiation source. They then significantly improved their efficiency through the use of carbon-14, a type of radioactive carbon, produced in graphite blocks from nuclear power plants.

Research by the University of Bristol has shown that radioactive carbon-14 is concentrated on the surface of these blocks, so it is possible to process them to remove most of the radioactive material.

Then, the extracted carbon-14 is encased in diamond as a nuclear waste cell. The UK currently has nearly 95,000 metric tons of graphite. By extracting carbon-14 from them, its radioactivity is reduced, reducing costs and costs of securely storing these nuclear waste.

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But some people worry that even if this type of  nuclear waste battery becomes a reality, it could cause more scattered or dangerous nuclear pollution, it will eventually survive in our homes and lives. ; but some argue that the nuclear waste being recycled into batteries is completely unreliable, one of the key problems is that it cannot prevent C-14’s nuclear decay.

As a result, the battery will generate electricity and continue to heat up, so an active cooling device is required. The battery can never power cell phones or electric cars as it cannot be turned off completely and can only limit the output power to milliwatts.

Those who have seen Marvel movies should be impressed with the “Ark Reactor” on Iron Man’s chest. A small module that can provide ample energy and even deliver offensive energy to robots. As for this similar “diamond battery”, whether it can be used in practice or just stopped at a fictional level is something that takes time to answer.