Novel electrode for improving flowless zinc-bromine battery

The flowless zinc-bromine battery (FLZBB) is a promising alternative to flammable lithium-ion batteries due to its use of non-flammable electrolytes. However, it suffers from self-discharge due to the crossover of active materials, generated at the positive graphite felt (GF) electrode, to the negative electrode, significantly affecting performance. Now, researchers have developed a novel nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon-coated GF electrode that effectively suppresses self-discharge. This breakthrough can lead to practical applications of FLZBB in energy storage systems.

Completely stretchy lithium-ion battery for flexible electronics

When you think of a battery, you probably don’t think stretchy. But batteries will need this shape-shifting quality to be incorporated into flexible electronics, which are gaining traction for wearable health monitors. Now, researchers report a lithium-ion battery with entirely stretchable components, including an electrolyte layer that can expand by 5000%, and it retains its charge storage capacity after nearly 70 charge/discharge cycles.

Mining rare earth metals from electronic waste

A small molecule that naturally serves as a binding site for metals in enzymes also proves useful for separating certain rare earth metals from each other. In a proof of concept, the process extracts europium directly from fluorescent powder in used energy-saving lamps in much higher quantities than existing methods. The researchers are now working on expanding their approach to other rare earth metals. They are in the process of founding a start-up to put the recycling of these raw materials into practice.

Soft, stretchy electrode simulates touch sensations using electrical signals

A team of researchers has developed a soft, stretchy electronic device capable of simulating the feeling of pressure or vibration when worn on the skin. This device represents a step towards creating haptic technologies that can reproduce a more varied and realistic range of touch sensations for applications such as virtual reality, medical prosthetics and wearable technology.