An anonymous reader writes "Existing lithium-ion batteries rely on graphite (although silicon is becoming more common now as it provides up to 20% higher capacity), and while it performs well, graphite limits the capacity of such batteries. So a research team at the University of Limerick, Ireland set about replacing graphite with a new element.
They ended up focusing on germanium, a gray-white metalloid that’s similar to tin and silicon. and restructured it using nanowires to create a porous material that remains stable during charging. In fact, not only is it stable, it also extends the life of any lithium-ion battery using it to over 1,000 cycles. Today’s batteries are typically rated at hundreds of cycles.
The end result? A new lithium-ion battery with double the capacity of existing batteries, a longer life, and as an added bonus it's highly scalable and cheap to manufacture."
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