The proton battery, connected to a voltmeter.
A new rechargeable 'proton battery' - made chiefly from carbon and water - promises to outperform conventional lithium-ion batteries, while also being more environmentally friendly.
Blue Planet Studio / shutterstock
The fossil fuel era won't last forever. And a new set of countries will find their reserves of lithium, copper and rare earth metals are in high demand.
Long-term treatment with lithium has improved memory and learning in rats.
Lithium is present naturally in many water systems and was once considered an elixir. It has long been used to treat bipolar disorder, but researchers have also started exploring its role in dementia.
Copper and other minerals will be increasingly important to the growing renewable energy sector.
In the decades ahead, our mineral supply will still need to double or triple to meet the demand for electric vehicles and other renewable energy technology.
Brine pools and processing areas at the Rockwood lithium plant on the Atacama salt flat in northern Chile.
We need to think about the raw materials of batteries -- where they come from and their environmental cost.
The highly valuable element has been found on the Cornish coast.
New lithium stores in Cornwall could give the UK a valuable domestic supply of the expensive commodity.
Alternative technologies are already leaving Tesla's batteries in the slow lane.
Dictyostelium discoideum at work.
They may be single-celled organisms, but as our distant cousins amoeba can tell us a lot about ourselves.
Lithium is used in Tesla Energy batteries for businesses and utility companies.
Patrick Fallon/ Reuters
If Australia investments in technology to recycle and lease lithium, it could capitalise on its increasing use in batteries.
Time for something new in the battery department.
Everyone wants a better battery for longer run-time on electronics and driving range for EVs. What's the most likely successor to today's lithium-ion batteries?
Batteries can cut carbon emissions, but mining the metals and other resources needed to make them can be a dirty business.
Jon Seb Barber/Wikimedia Commons
The advent of battery storage heralds an even deeper embrace of electric cars and renewable energy. But amid the green tech revolution, we should be wary of creating new pollution problems.
Tesla’s lithium-ion powerwall isn’t the only technology available for household batteries.
Lithium-ion is currently the leading battery technology for home installation, but others are just over the horizon that might be even better.
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Hadi Zaher/Flickr via CC BY-NC-ND
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