New rechargeable batteries could improve hybrid electric cars in the future

September 16th, 2008 - 5:19 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, September 16 (ANI): Researchers at the University of Bath in the UK are helping to develop new rechargeable batteries that could improve hybrid electric cars in the future.

As concern grows about climate change, a range of green technologies are being developed to help reduce carbon emissions.

Hybrid petrol/electric cars that use conventional metal-hydride batteries are already available but they are heavy and the cars have limited power.

Professor Saiful Islam, of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath, is researching new materials to use in rechargeable lithium batteries, similar to those that have helped to power the worldwide portable revolution in mobile phones, laptops and MP3 players.

For hybrid cars, new materials are crucial to make the batteries lighter, safer and more efficient in storing energy.

Hybrid electric cars such as the Toyota Prius rely on petrol engines, with their batteries being charged by the waste energy from braking. These cars provide better fuel economy for urban driving than a conventional car, explained Professor Islam.

Developing new materials holds the key to lighter and more efficient rechargeable batteries for hybrid electric cars, reducing our use of fossil fuels and cutting carbon emissions, he added.

Professor Islams research, which recently won the Fuel Cell Science & Technology Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry, will be presented at the Sustainable Energy and the Environment research showcase on September 17 at the University of Bath, alongside other cutting-edge research from across the region.

The exhibition also coincides with the launch of the new Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (I-SEE) at the University of Bath.

This will bring together experts from diverse fields of science, engineering, social policy and economics to tackle the problems posed by global warming.

According to Professor Islam, I-SEE reflects the growing focus on green technology at the University, which is a major centre for sustainable energy and chemical research.

The showcase event on 17 September will also feature exhibitions from other researchers from the University on subjects such as affordable solar cells and hydrogen fuel production. (ANI)

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