Thursday, August 5, 2010

Contour Energy Systems Says it has cracked the code for Producing Batteries with Fluorine that will outdo Lithium.

I'm not sure how Evo Morales is going to take this news.
From Greentech:
If Contour Energy Systems is right, you might die well before your heart defibrillator gives out.
Contour -- founded by a blue-ribbon group of chemistry and battery scientists -- has come up with a way to make high-power, long-lasting batteries with fluorine ions instead of lithium.

The batteries will initially be targeted at the military and medical device industry, but, if successful, they potentially could wind up in a wide variety of applications. The company recently cut the ribbon on an initial factory in Azuza, California. The first batteries come out later this year.
"Why do you change batteries in a smoke detector? Because a battery
wasn't previously available that would last 20 years," says Maurice Gunderson, a partner at CMEA, which invested in the company. "Why is a blender not cordless? Because batteries weren't good enough."

In terms of energy density, fluorine batteries have the potential to be eight times better than lithium batteries, but he adds that a two- to three-fold boost in performance is more realistic. The batteries will also have better power performance, i.e., they will be able to deliver more power on demand.

While lithium currently sits atop the battery world, other chemistries have emerged in recent years that may begin to go mainstream. GE and other large industrial companies are devising sodium batteries for grid storage, while a host of companies have put their hopes into zinc for batteries to be used in personal electronics and cars. Zinc may also get deployed in solar fields to store energy on the grid. Others advocate solid-state lithium batteries and lithium air batteries.  (More chemistry fun: Linde, Masdar PV and others advocate swapping nitrogen trifluoride with fluoride in solar panel manufacturing.) After all, lead acid was succeeded by nickel, nickel by nickel metal hydride, and NiMH by lithium ion.

Fluorine batteries actually exist now -- you can buy them in drugstores for cameras -- but they aren't particularly efficient. These currently available batteries employ a carbon monofluoride structure. That is, a battery component will have one fluorine for every carbon. Contour has developed a process to vary the basic formula that will allow a battery component to contain more, or even fewer, fluorine atoms to carbon atoms, depending on the desired result and application.

The company was originally called CFX Battery, with the C standing for carbon, the F for fluorine and the X for the ratio that can vary.

Like the lithium family of batteries, which includes lithium cobalt, lithium manganese and other combinations, the exact recipe used for each battery and component will vary. The company may come out with batteries where the secret sauce lies in the anode or the cathode or both. The first batteries -- for military applications -- will be coin batteries that are primary, i.e. non-chargeable, power sources....MORE
Butch Cassidy:

Kid, the next time I say, "Let's go someplace like Bolivia,"
let's go someplace like Bolivia.

- Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969)

Is a Green World a Safer World?

The rush for lithium is just beginning

The lithium boom is coming: The new bubble? (SQM)

France's Bollore opens talks over Bolivia's lithium (BOLL: Paris)

Can't Get Enough o' That Lithium. "Peak Lithium: Will Supply Fears Drive Alternative Batteries?"

Lithium: In Bolivia, Untapped Bounty Meets Nationalism

Mining lithium from geothermal 'lemonade'. And: Batteries That Don't Blow Up

Electric Vehicles-Lithium Supplies and Crucifixion in Bolivia

Lithium-Ion Batteries and Bolivian Politics

Shortage of Rare Metals for Hybrids Is Overblown
No one said there was a shortage. The question is geopolitical and strategic. It is the same situation with lithium. There isn't a shortage in the foreseeable future. In Li, The potential problem arises from the fact that Evo Morales controls half the world's known reserves of lithium. The calculus of signing agreements with him is closer to that required when dealing with Hugo Chavez than that required when dealing with the Japanese....
Here's Evo's pal Hugo:

Here are the tres amigos performing on open mike night (Fidel is so tone-deaf):