Have you ever dreamed about getting an electric cars which charges rapidly and covers longer distance. Now this dreams seems achievable in near future. Scientists are working on a plastic membrane that can stop battery from discharging when it is not being used and due to this membrane, battery can be rapidly charged.
This new technology is based on the principle of human circulatory system (The way cells move proteins in the body). It is developed to be used in supercapacitors, which will power the future cars and allow them to travel longer with shorter charge time.
Engineers at Ohio State University checked the efficiency of different electric powered cars and found that the most efficient electric cars was able to travel 0.4 miles per minute of charging. In simple words the best energy efficient car is able to travel 200 miles after 8 hours of charging!!! But a car with petrol engine can cover same distance after spending 1 minute at petrol pump.
Electric cars have already been optimized for best efficiency, So no more efficiency can be squeezed out by changing physical aspects of cars. The only way to travel longer distance is by optimizing the battery. Researchers believe that only way to get better efficiency from current battery technology is by using this membrane, until some new battery technology comes out.
For 50 + years, researchers worked on improving the capacity of same battery technology and they succeeded, but at the cost of increasing the charging time. Electric cars have matured into their best, but currently only limited by battery chemistry.
Lithium Ion battery already has separators which separate anode from cathode but it can’t completely prevent charge from flowing between anode and cathode. This way battery loses charge even when it is not being used.This process is called thermal runaway. But no need to worry because a new technology is being developed for preventing this phenomenon.
This same technology will be used to prevent charge leakage in supercapacitors. Researchers think, although this membrane can be used with current battery technology, it will also be used as basis for new generation of batteries called redox flow battery.
This plastic membrane will be licensed by the university for further development and usage by the industries.