A team investigating the lithium-air end of the battery spectrum -- ones that 'breathe' oxygen -- claims to have made a little breakthrough, one that could speed a boost in battery energy density to between five and ten times current levels -- and be on the market inside five years. Just in time for Apple Car 2.
The boasts of the advancement in using air to manage part of the reaction come from a team at UT Dallas led by Kyeongjae Cho and Yongping Zheng (pictured), where work with with fellow researchers at Seoul National University has led to the creation of a new catalyst for future lithium-air batteries called dimethylphenazine. A thing so new it's not yet in the Chrome spell checker.
These new catalyst materials are soluble rather than solid, which makes them better for reasons we have no chance of ever understanding no matter how much time we spend looking at this Wikipedia page on lithium-air battery catalysts.
Dr Kyeongjae Cho explained it in layman's terms to us lot with: "This is a major step. Hopefully it will revitalize the interest in lithium-air battery research, creating momentum that can make this practical, rather than just an academic research study." [UT Dallas]