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New breakthrough could make batteries safer—without compromising power, charge

By Sasha Lekach

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Remember all those smoking cellphones?

Researchers think they’ve found a safer, long-lasting zinc battery that uses water-in-salt electrolytes that could prevent those electronic fires.

University of Maryland researchers at the A. James Clark School of Engineering created a new water-based zinc battery that uses an aqueous electrolyte instead of the flammable substance in lithium-ion batteries. But to keep the batteries powerful and long-lasting the research team added metallic zinc and salt.

One of the paper’s authors and postdoctoral associate at UMD’s Clark School Fei Wang said in a release about the research, “We have a battery that could compete with the lithium-ion batteries in energy density, but without the risk of explosion or fire.” …

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