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Battery research could lead to shorter recharge time for cell phones

Adding a bit of graphene to battery materials could dramatically cut the time it takes to recharge electronics

July 13, 2010 Share This!

Issued by Battelle

  • New battery materials developed by the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Vorbeck Materials Corp. could enable electric vehicles and other consumer electronics to recharge in minutes rather than hours. Here a PNNL researcher prepares and tests lithium ion batteries and lithium/air batteries for vehicle and other mobile applications.

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RICHLAND, Washington – New battery materials developed by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Vorbeck Materials Corp. of Jessup, Md., could enable electric vehicles, power tools and even cell phones to recharge in minutes rather than hours. 

In collaboration with Vorbeck and researcher Ilhan Aksay at Princeton University, PNNL has demonstrated that small quantities of graphene — an ultra-thin sheet of carbon atoms — can dramatically improve the power and cycling stability of lithium-ion batteries, while maintaining high energy storage capacity.  The pioneering work could lead to the development of batteries that store larger amounts of energy and recharge quickly. 

Today, a typical cell phone battery takes between two and five hours to fully recharge.  Researchers think using new battery materials with graphene could cut recharge time to less than 10 minutes.   

Battelle, which operates PNNL for DOE, entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Vorbeck for use of its unique graphene material, Vor-xTM, in battery materials synthesis research.  Click here to read the announcement from Vorbeck.

This research is made possible the by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Technology Commercialization Fund.


Vorbeck Materials Corp. was established in 2006 to manufacture and develop applications using Vor-xTM, Vorbeck's patented graphene material developed at Princeton University.   Vorbeck became the first company to successfully commercialize a graphene product in 2009 with the introduction of Vor-ink, a graphene-based conductive ink.

Tags: Energy, Technology Transfer and Commercialization, Energy Efficiency, Batteries

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. Battelle has managed the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., since the laboratory's inception in 1965.

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