Batteries can last three times longer through a scientific technique

Smartphones, tablets and laptops are possible whose batteries do not lose their properties over many years. In 2023, a group of scientists reportedly found a way to easily regenerate batteries suitable for consumer electronics:

Battery life has a significant impact on how often we decide to replace phones. Charging and discharging lead to corrosion of the battery, and with its progress, electronics increasingly require contact with a power source. Laptops, phones and tablets are no longer fully mobile, forcing us to replace them. It turns out that there is a way to do this, and inexpensive remanufacturing of laptop, phone and tablet batteries is within the reach of modern technology. All we need is a mysterious material called MXene.

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Why does the MXene battery have the potential to last longer?
MXene is a material that has been known for several years with properties similar to a hybrid of metal and ceramic. It has a crystalline structure, but the ticket to the world of batteries is its conductive ability. Compared to the raw materials from which we design LiOn batteries, it is just as effective. Unfortunately, replacing the lithium-ion batteries with a solution using MXene until recently seemed unprofitable.

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MXene is easy to make and strong enough, but has the same disadvantage as the building blocks of lithium-ion batteries. Corrosion occurs when batteries are charged and discharged. With LiOn technology, there is no good way to remove the oxide (rust) that shortens battery life. MXene reacts the same way to the next refill. For this material, scientists from RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) have found a light at the end of the tunnel. According to them, batteries with MXene can be easily regenerated and extend their life:

How to regenerate batteries built with MXene?
Studying the possibilities of Mxene, the Australians have developed a corrosion removal technology suitable for Mxene. They subjected the oxidized layers of this material to vibrations at a frequency of 10 MHz. One minute of such treatment cleans it of corrosion and at the same time does not destroy its structure or properties. For batteries that use Mxene as a conductive material, this means it can be regenerated.

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What can the use of MXene in batteries change?
Recycling lithium-ion batteries is a practice whose efficiency leaves much to be desired. In this process, only a fraction of the materials used to build the battery can be recovered. It’s also not cheap, and most technologies focus only on recovering the most valuable resources. An alternative in the form of batteries that can be regenerated and extend their life three times is therefore interesting.

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However, Mxene still needs research, and its path from the lab to smartphone batteries and other electronic devices is through industry. Both the battery manufacturer and the equipment manufacturers that will use them must be interested in investing in them.

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