"An alkaline battery (IEC code: L) is a type of primary battery which derives its energy from the reaction between zinc metal and manganese dioxide."
The new permutation which allegedly ups the energy density and allows it to be safely recharged supposedly uses a different electrolyte with more manganese ions. The research has been funded in the West for decades, with some interesting new results in 2017. Of course, this is one of those "submarine" "news" articles which originated in someone's marketing department, so it's not entirely clear it's going to be a useful result or yet another pile of woo hoping to hit "human informational centipede" the way a lot of recent woo has.
> the test battery was able to reach a storage capacity of 285 milliAmpere-hours per gram of manganese oxide over 5,000 cycles, while retaining 92 percent of its initial storage capacity.
According to Wikipedia, lithium ion batteries have an energy density of 100–265 Watt-hours per kilogram at 3.6 - 3.8 Volts with 400 - 1,200 cycles. Converting that to Amp-hours (Wh)/(V) =(Ah) means about 74 Ah/Kg in the best case scenario.
I'm not sure if the tech from University of Adelaide is the same as what was published by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and I wasn't able to find any info about discharge/recharge rate, but it looks like it compares very well to lithium ion in the other areas.
For actual apples-to-apples comparison you will want to compare actual battery assemblies -- the numbers reported from labs often exclude parts of the batteries. In this case they are comparing just the MnO2 cathode weight judging by the quote you posted. Some of the wikipedia numbers on Li Ion will also be from articles like this too, so who knows how it reflects on reality.
If they had said $100m then I'd believe that there was finally going to be a serious competitor to the status quo on batteries.
This is one of the reasons why everybody is running around with 18650 lithium ion batteries. It's all 1990's tech that has been evolved and improved on since then by numerous competitive businesses.
The article talks about solar energy storage, vehicle batteries, and comparisons with lithium ion. The article doesn't explicitly say they're developing a type of rechargeable battery, but that seems to be implied by context.
Anyway, it would be nice to see lead-acid batteries phased out someday and reduce the usage of lead in human activities.
Two largest downsides of this technology are:
1. Round-trip efficiency of 75%.
2. Low power density.
Cost and cycle life are great though - should be great for grid storage.
I can imagine trains can be extra heavy, and scooters might require less overall energy capacity.
I think it would be nice if there was a site that tracked all these announcements, that is had a listing of all of them and how each has done in the following years.
On other hand, you can already source lithium batteries of cheaper varieties at below $100 per kWh in large wholesale quantities in China
But yeah, curious to see how it shakes out in practical application.
whats the energy density?
1 kg Zn * 1000 g / kg * 1000 mg / g * 1 day / 11 mg Zn * 1 year / 365.2425 day * 1 male lifespan / 76.04 years = 3.27 lifetimes.
The amount of Zn in one US post-1982 penny is 2.5 g (ignoring the copper cladding), which is 0.62 of a year's requirement.