Business / Industries

'Super batteries' to help cut pollution

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-08 09:37

Energy experts meeting in Washington have urged China and the United States to cooperate on the development of a "super-battery" that will promote the use of clean energy.

"We are living in a more and more transparent world economy," said Jeffrey Chamberlain, executive director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research at the Argonne National Laboratory, at the Atlantic Council, on Monday. "There is room to collaborate in scientific research with other scientists all over the world."

Chamberlain said that scientific research cooperation between China and the US has been common and he has been to China to exchange views with the nation's scientists on the challenges of the energy sector.

In the case of finding a "super battery", he said: "If we focus on the fundamental science, then collaboration is a good thing. We should encourage that."

Chamberlain expressed his hope that the areas where China and the US could cooperate would expand. "The exciting part that comes in the collaboration is: can we collaborate beyond the scientific research? And I think we can," he said.

The "super battery", to be based on graphene-polymer technology, could fully charge an electric vehicle in eight minutes. That amount of energy would power the EV for about 483 km, and it would keep a smartphone operating for a week.

The leading countries focused on developing a "super battery" are China, the US, Japan and South Korea, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Asked about the prospects for this kind of clean energy in China, Chamberlain, an expert on energy storage, said that he is very optimistic about the development of a "super battery" in China.

Steve LeVine, Washington correspondent for Quartz and author of The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World, said that using "super batteries" would significantly improve the environment, especially the air quality in China.

China is going to have millions more cars by 2030. "Then you imagine that if all of those cars are gasoline-driven, what happens to the air? What if instead those ... cars are electric cars? Then suddenly you don't have the pollution," he said.

Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, an expert on vehicles, said at an automobile forum on March 10 that EVs should be promoted.

Wan has been devoted to the research and development of new energy vehicles for decades. "Super battery" technologies would have a momentous impact on markets and the environment, he said.

Liu Xiaoxian in Washington contributed to this story.

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