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USA: U of Tulsa, Frontier Electronic Systems combine forces in lithium ion battery research

TULSA, Okla. — Researchers in Oklahoma who are working to develop a longer-lasting lithium ion battery can’t fully describe what they’re up to, but say the development promises to be “revolutionary.”

Frontier Electronic Systems Corp. engineers are collaborating with researchers at the University of Tulsa on a new type of lithium ion battery that would have more juice to power devices ranging from mobile phones to automobiles.

“Since the lithium ion battery came into prominence in the 1990s, there really haven’t been any changes,” said professor Dale Teeters, head of the university’s chemistry and biochemistry program.

Teeters has been researching battery technology for more than 12 years. Recent innovations in nano-technology, including a growing supply of equipment at TU, are promising breakthroughs in the technology, the Tulsa World reported (http://is.gd/V1yIqH).

Teeters said a use of a nano-material can help a battery charge more quickly and lose power at a slower rate. The battery can also hold more power.

The battery in a top-of-the-line Tesla Roadster weighs almost two tons. It takes eight hours to fully charge, providing enough power to go 300 miles.

Makers of electric vehicles are seeking more efficient batteries to help increase the vehicles’ range and make them more appealing to consumers.

At the university, Teeters said he has been able to develop a super-thin lithium material with greater surface area than the chemical used in current technologies. The new battery would hold more power, making more juice available if a car needs to accelerate quickly.

Teeters is working with the Stillwater aerospace and defense company Frontier Electronic Systems to attempt to bring the technology to market.
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