Honda Research Institute has announced a new breakthrough battery chemistry developed in collaboration with Caltech and NASA JPL researchers. The technology, which was detailed in a newly published study, has a better eco footprint while enabling the use of higher energy density materials in comparison to existing battery tech.

Honda says the new technology sidesteps fluoride-based battery technology temperature limitations. The team successfully demonstrated the operation of fluoride-ion based energy cells at room temperature, opening the door for high energy-density batteries that better meet the high capacity needs of modern technology.

Even better, the researchers say that unlike popularly used lithium-ion batteries, which are known to be volatile, fluoride-ion batteries are safer without the risk of overheating. As well, this battery technology is better for the environment due to the lower environmental impact of its source materials.

Batteries created with the chemistry may have up to 10 times the high energy density of lithium-ion batteries, according to the study. Despite the upsides, this type of battery hasn’t replaced lithium-ion due to its temperature limitations — until now, it has required temperatures above 302F degrees to work properly.

Researchers with Honda, NASA, and Caltech overcame this limitation and developed a fluoride-ion cell that can operate at room temperature. The team achieved this using a fluoride-conducting liquid electrolyte that has high ionic conductivity, as well as a wide operating voltage. Such technology may one day be behind batteries that power everything from consumer gadgets to electric vehicles.

Author: Brittany A. Roston 
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