Today, IBM Research is building on a long history of materials science innovation to unveil a new battery discovery. This new research could help eliminate the need for heavy metals in battery production and transform the long-term sustainability of many elements of our energy infrastructure.
As battery-powered alternatives for everything from vehicles to smart energy grids are explored, there remain significant concerns around the sustainability of available battery technologies.
Many battery materials, including heavy metals such as nickel and cobalt, pose tremendous environmental and humanitarian risks. Cobalt in particular, which is largely available in central Africa, has come under fire for careless and exploitative extraction practices.1
Using three new and different proprietary materials, which have never before been recorded as being combined in a battery, our team at IBM Research has discovered a chemistry for a new battery which does not use heavy metals or other substances with sourcing concerns.
The materials for this battery are able to be extracted from seawater, laying the groundwork for less invasive sourcing techniques than current material mining methods.
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