Electronics

New "dual carbon" battery charges 20 times faster than Li-ion

A Japanese company has announced the development and planned mass-production of a disruptive dual carbon battery that can be charged twenty times faster than an ordinary lithium-ion cell (Image: Power Japan Plus)
A Japanese company has announced the development and planned mass-production of a disruptive dual carbon battery that can be charged twenty times faster than an ordinary lithium-ion cell (Image: Power Japan Plus)
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The battery employs carbon for both electrodes (Image: Power Japan Plus)
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The battery employs carbon for both electrodes (Image: Power Japan Plus)
The company is developing the battery in collaboration with Kyushu University (Image: Power Japan Plus)
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The company is developing the battery in collaboration with Kyushu University (Image: Power Japan Plus)
The company is developing its own organic carbon material for the batteries (Image: Power Japan Plus)
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The company is developing its own organic carbon material for the batteries (Image: Power Japan Plus)
Carbon is the only active material in the cells (Image: Power Japan Plus)
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Carbon is the only active material in the cells (Image: Power Japan Plus)
The battery is safer and cheaper to manufacture than li-ion cells (Image: Power Japan Plus)
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The battery is safer and cheaper to manufacture than li-ion cells (Image: Power Japan Plus)
The cell uses carbon as the only active material (Image: Power Japan Plus)
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The cell uses carbon as the only active material (Image: Power Japan Plus)
A Japanese company has announced the development and planned mass-production of a disruptive dual carbon battery that can be charged twenty times faster than an ordinary lithium-ion cell (Image: Power Japan Plus)
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A Japanese company has announced the development and planned mass-production of a disruptive dual carbon battery that can be charged twenty times faster than an ordinary lithium-ion cell (Image: Power Japan Plus)

Japanese company Power Japan Plus has announced the development and planned mass-production of "Ryden," a disruptive carbon battery that can be charged 20 times faster than an ordinary lithium-ion cell. The battery, which is cheap to manufacture, safe, and environmentally friendly, could be ideal to improve the range and charging times of electric cars.

We've seen electric cars and motorbikes make huge strides forward in recent years. Up to a few years ago, electric vehicles were a synonym of peculiar designs, poor performance, and very low range; but now, more and more people associate them with instant torque and high performance. Further improving range, charging time, and cost would make electric vehicles an even more compelling product.

A new battery developed by Power Japan and Kyushu University promises that – and more. The researchers describe their battery as "dual carbon" since both electrodes are made out of carbon. They claim that their design not only has high energy density, but is also economical, very safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable. Most importantly, it can charge 20x faster than its Li-ion counterpart.

The battery employs carbon for both electrodes (Image: Power Japan Plus)
The battery employs carbon for both electrodes (Image: Power Japan Plus)

According to the company, their technology would allow you to charge the battery of a Nissan Leaf in 12 minutes instead of four hours. Because that battery has a capacity of 24 kWh, a back-of-the-envelope extrapolation would give us a charging time of 42 minutes for the 85 kWh battery of a top of the line Tesla Model S.

Power Japan also claims that their battery has energy density comparable to state of the art lithium-ion, with manufacturing costs that are equal or lower. This is because carbon, which is widely available in nature, is the only active ingredient, and the batteries can fit into a standard 18650 cell (the one used in laptops and electric cars), requiring no significant change to existing manufacturing lines.

Further characteristics that make it particularly suitable for electric cars are a long lifetime of 3,000 charge/discharge cycles (Li-ion's life is closer to 1,000 cycles) and the ability to discharge fully without the risk of short-circuiting and damaging the battery. Moreover, the battery doesn't heat up, so it wouldn't require the extensive cooling systems that appear in current electric cars. Thermal stability also makes the battery much safer, because it eliminates the risk of thermal runaway, which can cause explosions. And it would be more powerful than other batteries, operating at over four volts.

The company is developing its own organic carbon material for the batteries (Image: Power Japan Plus)
The company is developing its own organic carbon material for the batteries (Image: Power Japan Plus)

The battery would also be highly sustainable, as it is fully recyclable. Power Japan is planning to produce the battery using an organic carbon complex, developed in-house from organic cotton, to obtain a greater control over the size of the carbon crystals in its electrodes.

Power Japan is planning to start production of 18650 dual carbon cells later this year for specialty applications such as medical devices and satellites, and they plan to license the technology to other companies for use in electric vehicles.

The video below illustrates the advantages of the battery.

Source: Power Japan Plus

Power Japan Plus - Balancing the Energy Storage Equation

56 comments
HerrDrPantagruel
Confusing. They say that carbon is the "only active material" in the battery. But it shows lithium being used, in the illustration photo and similarly in the video as well, between the anode and cathode, presumptively in the electrolyte. So this strictly speaking really a type of lithium ion battery, no? Since actually Li ions are moving back and forth?
DaveKDEN
Not that I'm going to hold my breath for this, but I REALLY hope it delivers as promised!
Robert Walther
What? No idiot screaming that 'Big Oil' is going to buy this and hide the formula in Warehouse 13; after killing the inventors in mysterious 'accidents'. Welcome to the 2014 of conspiracy busters. Everything, all the time means you can not hide good stuff, nor is there any reason to try.
The Skud
I really hope that more breakthroughs like this keep appearing. The old lead-acid batteries are losing to modern tech, and hurrah for that. Now if the price can be kept to affordable, sainthood may be not too far around the corner (or at least an OBE).
Tony Morris
Come on Gizmag. Give us a bit more technical information - like how does this battery create a potential difference across two electrodes made of the same material?
eMike
Easy there Robert Walther, take your meds and do not take the scary red pill. There is plenty going on beyond "Big Oil" but it is nice to hear a carbon based battery is shaping up. However it does not look like we will see it soon unless we purchase a vehicle, satellite or higher end medical devices.
martinkopplow
Like eMike says it is not very likely to see it soon, and I'd like to add EVEN IF we buy an electric vehicle. This is a laboratory sample, while all the EV manufacturers have already secured long term contracts with 'classic' Li-Ion suppliers, so there is still a long piece of road ahead until a new tech like this will make it to the streets. Still I think this is an exciting development worth watching. I hope they become available when the battery pack currently in my electric car will be about to die.
MattII
@Robert Walther, this comes out of Japan, Big Oil doesn't have quite the same power there as in the US.
eMike
Regardless of how much they promise us peak oil is still not here, "Big Oil" is becoming "Smaller Oil" every day. The UK is a good example. Just follow the money (and not the oil companies) if you really want to understand how this world works. This is another compelling reason why to speed up any and all alternative energy research, although if I know our world well enough, all this new technology will also be taxed heavily once it becomes mainstream.
Brendan Dunphy
HerrDrPantagruel: "Ryden Dual Carbon Batteries use carbon as both the anode and cathode, with an as-yet-unidentified organic electrolyte containing lithium ions". Unidentified by whom?.....I want to believe this is real. FYI, these types of batteries were conceived over 40 years ago but research stopped when they could not deliver any meaningful output relative to prevailing technologies so maybe there is hope.
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