IBM has developed a sustainable successor to the dirty lithium-ion battery

Yesterday we published a story (emissary section) about a new lithium-sulfur battery that has a capacity five times higher than that of lithium-ion batteries, which means it can keep a phone charged for five days. Today, we bring you another major advancement in batteries: a battery-free of cobalt, nickel and other heavy metals, avoiding the environmental and humanitarian issues related to lithium-ion technology.

Developed by IBM, this battery is made from three materials that can be extracted from seawater, a much less invasive sourcing method than mining. IBM says there is no record of these materials previously combined into a battery—and though it is a novel approach, IBM has proven that the battery outperforms lithium-ion versions, so it has the potential to improve electric vehicles and energy storage.

For all the energy storage improvements that lithium-ion technology has been able to catalyze, lithium-ion also has a dark side with terrible environmental and humanitarian practices attached to the mining of it. With this sustainable battery, we can finally move beyond the lithium-ion battery.

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