Germanium-Based Battery Claimed to Double Range of Electric Vehicles

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 13

Lithium-Ion is so Last Year...It's All Germanium Now

Lithium-Ion is so Last Year…It’s All Germanium Now

Germanium is all the craze these days, says Nano-engineer Professor Zaiping Guo of the University of Wollongong in Australia.

Battery Breakthroughs Come Daily...Be Weary

Battery Breakthroughs Come Daily…Be Weary

Guo and her team of research are currently working to improve lithium-ion battery technology and claim to have stumbled upon an element that has 5 time the energy storage potential and could double the range of electric vehicles.

That element, known as Germanium, is claimed to be easily obtainable and a breakthrough manufacturing technique means that it could eventually be cheap to use in batteries, while providing a  significant improvement over today’s advanced automotive batteries.

As Guo states:

“The novel anode materials are very simple to synthesize and cost-effective.They can be fabricated in large-scale by industry, therefore have great commercial potential.  We’re truly excited about this breakthrough and are looking forward to transitioning this technology to the commercial marketplace.”

Professor Guo added that independent tests showed significant reduction in charging time for the Ge-based batteries.

As is almost always the case with “breakthrough” battery technology, details are scarce.  There are a few reasons for this.  To protect one’s research work comes to mind, as does maintaining right to any future patents.  But, most often, details are scarce either on purpose or because the “breakthrough” technology is decades away from commercialization and little factual information is actually known at this time.

So, the proper way to approach these “breakthroughs” is with doubts and tons of questioning.

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13 responses to "Germanium-Based Battery Claimed to Double Range of Electric Vehicles"

  1. Brian Smith says:

    You have a typo – “geranium”. If only our batteries could run on flowers, that would be great 🙂

  2. Eric Loveday says:

    Fixed…Thanks…Yes, flower powered would be sweet.

  3. David Murray says:

    Yawn… let me know when it actually exists and is planned for production. If I had $1 for every battery breakthrough news story I hear, I’d be a rich man by now.

  4. David Murray says:

    In fact.. Sometimes I wonder if these “battery breakthrough” stories aren’t devised by oil-companies. Sort of how they’ve always hung the carrot in front of us for hydrogen fuel cells saying they are just around the corner, but never really are. I wonder how many people read stories like this and decide to put off buying an EV for fear they will be getting an obsolete product?

  5. Gene says:

    Same old “breakthrough” story, unfortunately: much high storage capacity than Li-ion, but much more rapid degradation of that capacity.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium–air_battery
    http://www.extremetech.com/electronics/149779-sodium-air-batteries-could-replace-lithium-air-as-the-battery-of-the-future
    …and many more…

  6. Schmeltz says:

    I’m hoping at least one of these “break throughs” are indeed a true break through some day.

  7. Bill Howland says:

    Haha, it seems I’ve been a pioneer in the Germanium movement (and yes, people did call these things “Flower transistors”.). I used to almost solely use Germanium products like 1n34’s to get the 200 millivolt N-P junction gap vs the 600 millivolt drop of silicon.

    Who Knew they’d actually make a much better battery..

    One problem I just know they’re going to run into: Germanium cannot withstand anywhere the heat , than other elements can so the cooling system /heat sink has to work really well.

    1. MikeM says:

      @Bill H

      When I read “Germanium” in the headline I shrank back in horror. Memories came flooding back – all of them bad.
      My college final year project involved building a piece of equipment using several germanium transistors (the ONLY ones available to me in the U.K. at the time). O.K., maybe this says something about how old I am, but never mind!
      Dealing with the wildly temperature sensitive reverse base-emitter leakage current was irksome, to say the least. Silicon transistors showed up by the bucket load a year or so later and were like a gift from heaven.

      So, re. germanium batteries: I have this vision of a battery which self discharges at a high rate, getting warmer, discharging faster, getting hotter until – Kaboom!

      Say it isn’t so!

      (It was just a bad daydream).

  8. Guyman says:

    For those looking for details – Looks like Ge on the anode – And the trick is some Carbon coating via some nano-structure –

    The current research that trigger this note is here:
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl304716e

    And some earlier research that was easier to read (at least for me) is here:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201201488/full

  9. Cavaron says:

    Germanium – why not? Some years ago I couldn’t belive that some Yittrium would improve the cathode of LiFePo batteries that much in cycles and deep temperature charging. I wonder how much improvement to energy density some Germanium in the anode would add to them.

  10. kdawg says:

    Until I can buy it, it might as well be made of Unobtainium.

  11. Turbofroggy says:

    This just in – Rhododendron based batteries will offer EVs with 10,000 mile range and will cost just $0.10/KWH and provide enough power for 0-60 times of 4 seconds regardless of car/truck size or weight. Fox news weighs in, not far enough, not fast enough and too expensive…

    1. Bill Howland says:

      fair and ballanced no doubt