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article imageIonic's rechargeable alkaline battery competes with lithium-ions

By Karen Graham     Aug 3, 2017 in Technology
Basalt - A startup company in Massachusetts unveiled what it claims is a major breakthrough in battery design — technology they say will make solid-state alkaline batteries a viable alternative to lithium-ion and other high-energy storage technologies.
Silicon Valley guru and Sun Microsystems Inc. co-founder, Bill Joy already sees the world becoming dependent on batteries. But he thinks alkaline batteries might be the smarter way to go, rather than lithium ion batteries, reports Bloomberg.
On Thursday, Joy, and Woburn, Mass.-based Ionic Materials unveiled their solid-state alkaline battery at the Rocky Mountain Institute’s 35th Anniversary Energy Innovation Summit in Basalt, Colorado,
It's well known that alkaline batteries can be made far more cheaply and safely than lithium ion batteries, but they have never been rechargeable, and this one issue has prevented them from being used in smartphones, personal computers and electric vehicles.
From 2019 forward  Volvo will only manufacture partially or completely battery-powered cars.
From 2019 forward, Volvo will only manufacture partially or completely battery-powered cars.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Ionic claims they have developed an alkaline battery that can be recharged hundreds of times and would not be prone to combustion problems such as Samsung had with its lithium ion battery-powered smartphones. The company also says the battery can be made using a "continuous manufacturing process" similar to how plastic wrap is made.
The drivers behind the battery innovation revolution
Tesla and other companies globally have been working hard to increase the storage capacity of lithium ion batteries, with Tesla developing the Powerwall module and the larger, utility-scale Powerpack unit. The advancements in creating more powerful batteries have also led to cost-cutting innovations in their manufacturing.
According to Reuters, the cost of lithium ion batteries used to power electric vehicles could tumble over 70 percent by 2025, according to a McKinsey & Co study released on July 11, 2017. With the falling costs of producing lithium ion batteries, along with the development of more powerful batteries and energy storage units, it's easy to see what's fueling this demand.
If the consumer is going to accept this renewable energy revolution, then the batteries powering EVs, the electrical grid and our technology need to be powerful and inexpensive. So Ionic Materials is going to fit right into the mix, especially if their alkaline battery does what they claim.
Many airlines last year barred all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones over fire risk concerns  follow...
Many airlines last year barred all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones over fire risk concerns, following reports of exploding lithium-ion batteries.
Ed Jones, AFP
Who is Ionic Materials?
Funded by prominent venture capital firms, and employing a world-class team, Ionic Materials is headed up by CEO and Founder, Mike Zimmerman Ph.D. Zimmerman is a proven serial entrepreneur with 30+ years of polymer expertise. The company's technology team makes use of their extensive knowledge in the fields of polymer science, electrochemistry, and battery science.
Ionic has invented a solid polymer electrolyte material that conducts ions at room temperature, making it possible to create a truly solid state battery. According to the company's website, "Replacing flammable liquid electrolytes with Ionic’s non-flammable solid polymer drastically improves battery safety and robustness, as Ionic has demonstrated in a number of safety tests."
The battery has proven to be stable against lithium and can conduct multiple ions. Ionic has also demonstrated its polymer electrolyte is compatible with chemistries that have much higher theoretical performance limits than the active materials used in current state-of-the-art batteries.
Bottom line? The competition has heated up and we are going to be in for an exciting ride.
More about alkaline battery, Rechargeable, Lithium ion, Ionic Materials, polymer electrolyte