A nuclear battery that never needs charging?
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A California company, NDB (which stands for nuclear diamond battery), is developing a nuclear battery using waste products from nuclear power plants that will never need charging and will be able to replace almost any ordinary battery, from those used in computers and smart phones to AA and AAA batteries.
The heart of each cell is a small piece of recycled nuclear waste. NDB uses graphite nuclear reactor parts that have absorbed radiation from nuclear fuel rods and have themselves become radioactive. Untreated, it’s high-grade nuclear waste: dangerous, difficult and expensive to store, with a very long half-life.
This graphite is rich in the carbon-14 radioisotope, which undergoes beta decay into nitrogen, releasing an anti-neutrino and a beta decay electron in the process. NDB takes this graphite, purifies it and uses it to create tiny carbon-14 diamonds. The diamond structure acts as a semiconductor and heat sink, collecting the charge and transporting it out. Completely encasing the radioactive carbon-14 diamond is a layer of cheap, non-radioactive, lab-created carbon-12 diamond, which contains the energetic particles, prevents radiation leaks and acts as a super-hard protective and tamper-proof layer.
To create a battery cell, several layers of this nano-diamond material are stacked up and stored with a tiny integrated circuit board and a small supercapacitor to collect, store and instantly distribute the charge. NDB says it’ll conform to any shape or standard, including AA, AAA, 18650, 2170 or all manner of custom sizes.
The company says it has already built a proof-of-concept, and will begin building commercial prototypes as soon as it can reopen (they were shuttered by the Wuhan flu panic).
More at the link. Also see the video below the fold. To say this technology would be game-changing is an understatement of epic proportions. At the same time, a lot of difficult work will be required to make it practical and affordable. Don’t expect this to be available in stores for at least a few years.
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