Indian Start-up Invents Battery That Helps Vehicles Run On Water!

Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. Scientists and developers are coming up with innovative methods to save our environment and reduce pollution, which really is the need of the hour. We have been talking about the overuse of non-renewable energy resources such as petroleum and crude oil since a long time, but looks like we are finally moving towards finding a solution. While electric cars have already hit the road, there are more innovations on its way.

The people at an Indian nanotechnology start-up named Log 9 Materials have created an electric car which can run on water. Water and electric car do sound weird together but they have achieved this miraculous feat by using a special battery known as the metal-air battery.

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Log 9 Materials is dedicated to unique innovations

The start-up was incubated at IIT Roorkee and they have been working for 3 years on the applications of graphene, the fascinating allotrope of carbon. They have already come up with a range of graphene-based products such as Log 9 air sorbent, which is post-purification filter for smokers. Through these innovations, it has managed to garner seed investment from GEMS Micro-VC Fund and a Rs 3 crore pre-series A investment by various firms. 

They spotted the increase in use of battery powered cars and decided to find applications of graphene in batteries. It yielded them truly unexpected results. A graphene rod is extremely porous and it can be used in the cathode of a metal-air battery. It helps in increasing the efficiency by five times at just one-third the cost.

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The advantages and challenges of a metal-air battery 

The metal-air batteries by Log 9 does not need to be charged, unlike the usual lithium-ion batteries. These batteries run on a refuelling mechanism that only requires water to recharge. A car using this battery can run hundreds of kilometres smoothly by just using water. Also, the huge costs incurred on charging stations and in procuring cobalt to make lithium-ion batteries would be saved. Even electricity is generated through fossil fuels and these batteries would reduce that consumption as well.

Despite the advantages, it is not going to be easy to implement the use of these batteries. Several other companies, including market leader Tesla, have tried using it. The major problem is the irreversible loss in battery performance due to corrosion.

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“The firm is relying upon the material competency to prevent corrosion in the prone parts. We also have an IP generated around the process. We faced difficulties in driving power out of the batteries. Despite this, however, we have managed to increase the power per cell by 4 to 5 times,” said Kartik Hajela, Co-founder, Log 9 Materials, in an interview with India Times.

Kartik is confident that they will be able to resolve the issues and launch the battery in the market by 2020. The cost is predicted to be at par or cheaper than the current batteries.

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