Titanium dioxide is being used to create a more efficient and cost-effective heating system in some of the world’s most expensive batteries.
The process could lead to the development of the cheapest lithium-ion batteries, the BBC’s Technology Editor Steve Williams reports.
But the technology is also being used in lithium-air, which uses a much smaller amount of lithium.
The new lithium-oxygen batteries could provide a cheaper alternative to lithium-iron-nickel batteries.
It’s called titanium dioxide and it is produced by a process known as thermolysis, which has already been used in some parts of the solar industry.
We are starting to see some of these technologies get out of the lab, and into the real world.
Professor Michael Osterweil, professor of chemistry at the University of CambridgeThe researchers from the University Of Manchester, have been developing a new process to create titanium dioxide using nickel and titanium as catalysts.
It works by using titanium dioxide as a catalyst in an oxidiser solution to produce a gas that reacts with lithium.
When this reaction occurs, it generates an oxide gas that can be used as a fuel.
In order to generate a better battery, this process needs to be scaled up, and it will not be until at least 2023 that we’ll be able to start producing a real battery.
The researchers are now working on making the metal available as a raw material for the first time.
Professor Michael Oesterweil from the Department of Chemistry at the university said the use of titanium dioxide in a lithium-oxide battery could be a game changer.
“We are now starting to hear about new titanium dioxide battery technologies that are using the process, and the materials that we’ve made, that could provide better battery performance,” he said.
“This could be one of the most important steps for the battery industry to take.”
Professor Oesterwil said the new process could be used to make titanium dioxide that could be applied to all types of batteries.
“The catalyst is the same as you can use with lithium-polymer battery cells, which are actually much more efficient than lithium-nicode batteries,” he explained.
“So, you could apply this process to all kinds of batteries and, potentially, it could lead into a new kind of battery that could replace the lithium-based batteries.”
He said the development could lead more companies to adopt the technology.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm in the industry about using this technology, and I think that will drive this further,” he added.
“I think it’s going to be a catalyst for other companies to come along and do it, as well.”
And ultimately, if you look at this as a cost-saving technique, then that would make it much more attractive for other manufacturers to adopt this as well.
“The new technology is being tested at the Manchester Nano-Bioenergy Facility, which is part of the Manchester Science Laboratory.
The project has been supported by the Department for International Development, the European Commission, the Department Of Energy, the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
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