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IBM Invents Heavy Metal and Cobalt-Free Battery
IBM Invents Heavy Metal and Cobalt-Free Battery

IBM Research claims that its new battery technology outperforms lithium-ion batteries on all levels:

Lower cost: because there is no cobalt, nickel and other heavy metals in the cathode, as those are resource-intensive to source
Faster charging: less than five minutes to reach 80% capacity
Higher power density: over 10,000 W/L (Wikipedia cites 1500 W/kg for lithium-ion)
High energy density: 800 Wh/L (Wikipedia cites 680 Wh/L for lithium-ion)
Excellent energy efficiency: over 90% (Wikipedia cites 80-90% for lithium-ion)
Low flammability of electrolytes
IBM in particular stresses the heavy metal-free nature of the new battery, improving the long-term sustainability of batteries. IBM Research’s Battery Lab instead has used three “new and different proprietary materials”, which it says have never before been combined in a battery. The company did not disclose the materials, but says they can be extracted from seawater to lay the groundwork for less invasive sourcing techniques than mining.

The active cathode does not feature cobalt and nickel and the battery uses a safe liquid electrolyte. According to IBM, the design suppresses the forming of lithium dendrites, which can cause short circuits if they connect the anode and cathode. This reduces the risk of flammability. IBM says these characteristics give its discovery potential for electric vehicles, electric aircraft and smart power grids.

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