One of the inventors of the lithium-ion battery has developed a new kind of cell that charges faster, lasts longer, and is safe from overheating or exploding.
Future vaping innovation will depend on improvements in battery technology. As vape devices incorporate more features and power, and safety becomes a primary goal, batteries that perform reliably for longer periods and with less risk are a necessity.
Now a team at the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, led by 94-year-old lithium-ion inventor Prof. John Goodenough, have developed the first all-solid-state batteries. The new tech could be used wherever lithium-ion cells are used now, including electric cars, small electronics, laptops…and vape mods.
“We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries,” Goodenough said in a UTA press release. The new cells have at least three times the energy density of lithium-ion cells. That means they’ll last much longer in devices. Even better, they allow for more charging/discharging cycles, and charge much more quickly — in minutes rather than hours.
But the most exciting news — for vapers anyway — is that the battery formula prevents overheating. The cells operate at lower temperatures, and they’re more stable. They use solid glass electrolytes, instead of liquid like in lithium-ion cells. The glass formulation allows the use of sodium in the batteries instead of lithium. Sodium (salt) can be harvested from sea water and recycled more easily.
We reported in January about a Stanford study that described a new technology that would make lithium-ion batteries safer. But that tech was not yet past the testing phase. It also wouldn’t improve battery life or power output.
In any case, until advances in battery tech make commercially sold cells safer, vapers should pay careful attention to battery safety. Existing lithium-ion chemistries can be very safe, as long as users are aware of their limitations and capabilities.