Israel’s Technology Institute, the Technion, has received a $5million investment for upcoming patents for batteries that will eliminate the need for heavy metal use. “The timing of the grant is excellent”, says Professor Gidi Grader, head of The Energy Program at The Technion. “Two patents that refer to the silicon-air battery are expected to be approved in the United States soon. It is important to make prototypes to protect the battery in respect of intellectual property and develop it towards commercial production”.
“That way, we can manufacture expendable and lightweight batteries. The new friendly battery will be highly resistant to extreme dryness and humidity. It will have endless capacity and a potential eternal lifetime” explains Professor Yair Ein-Eli from the Department of Materials Engineering in The Technion that leads the project.
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This kind of batteries (metal-air, like silicon-air batteries) are different than conventional batteries- their cathode is the air, a feature that enables a lightweight product. The Technion’s battery, which was in different levels of development in the past 3 years is based on nano-powder silicon and atmospheric oxygen. Scientists say that this field of research can influence other aspects of our life, like transportation, health and electronics.
The energy storage array will consist of 3 separate laboratories which will do research in the battery field and they will include new equipment that has never been used in Israel. “The Technion will be able to return some of its researchers and PhD students that studied abroad. This is one of the goals of the energy program” says Grader.