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100 times faster-charging battery technology developed

Researchers here have developed a new hybrid energy storage technology with faster charging speed than ordinary secondary batteries, the science ministry said Monday. "The new hybrid energy storage technology combines pros of lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors and thus has higher energy capacity and supports about 100 times faster charging," the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said. The research team was led by Kang Jeung-ku, a professor at the Graduate School of Energy, Environment, Water and Sustainability of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Hybrid Interface Materials, one of the science ministry's research arms, supported the research through its global frontier program. The results were published in international science journal Advanced Energy Materials on Sept. 23, the ministry said. "The researchers have developed a source material that has high-capacity energy storage density and unprecedentedly superior energy input and output properties," said Kim Kwang-ho, director of Hybrid Interface Materials, in a statement. "The new technology will be essential to batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and mobile devices in the future. Based on the research, we will push for additional development on manufacturing process optimization to mass-produce the improved batteries, aiming at technology licensing and venture businesses." Lithium-ion batteries are widely used for energy storage. The batteries have relatively high energy storage density of 185 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), and low charging speed and output of 200 watts per kilogram (W/kg). On the other hand, the supercapacitor has high charging speed and output of 20kW/kg but low energy density, and thus has been considered unsuitable as an EV battery, which requires both high capacity and output. Kang's research team has developed a porous nanotube that has fine mesoporous channels for positive and negative ions, and combined it with the different energy storage mechanisms of lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors. The new hybrid energy storage technology has 275Wh/kg energy density, which is 1.5 times that of the lithium ion battery, and 23kW/kg charging and output property, which is 100 times higher than that of the lithium ion battery. "The new hybrid energy storage has higher capacity than ordinary secondary batteries and has as much high-speed charging and output capability as supercapacitors," the ministry said. "This means that the new technology can charge 200Wh/kg of energy in about 30 seconds and reach 130Wh/kg of energy density in 20 seconds at maximum output."

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