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Scientists have invented a new battery with the ability to charge a phone in one minute.

The aluminium battery is intended to replace lithium models, which are the most commonly used items for household items such as laptops and mobile phones. As well as the time-advantage, the prototype will also be safer than lithium-ion batteries because of their chemical properties. Chemistry applicants should investigate why the properties of aluminium make it less prone to catching fire than lithium-ion, and also why they are more environmentally friendly.

Hongjie Dai, a chemistry professor at Stanford who published the findings in Nature, has claimed that the new batteries will not catch fire, even if they are drilled through. The batteries will also generate 2V of electricity, more than any aluminium battery. The experimental battery uses a negatively charged anode made from aluminium and a positively charged cathode from graphite. Inside is a salt that is liquid at room temperature, making it more stable and better for the environment than conventional batteries. Its stability also makes it more durable, lasting more than 7500 cycles without losing capacity.

Finally, aluminium is far more flexible, meaning it can be bended and folded for use in flexible electronic devices, as well as being a cheaper material to mass-produce. Engineering applicants should read The Guardian’s analysis of the composition of different battery materials and their use.

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