From：CTECHI GROUP Limited Release time：2019-01-23
Overview：According to foreign media reports, scientists at the University of Bristol in the UK have recently used nuclear waste to produce a new type of artificial diamond battery, which has a service life of more than 5,000 years. The new batteries could be used in devices and devices that require long-term power supply, such as pacemakers, UAVs, satellites, spacecraft, and so on, the researchers said. This breakthrough invention can also solve the problems of nuclear waste disposal, battery life and clean electricity.
According to foreign media reports, scientists at the University of Bristol in the UK have recently used nuclear waste to produce a new type of artificial diamond battery, which has a service life of more than 5,000 years. The new batteries could be used in devices and devices that require long-term power supply, such as pacemakers, UAVs, satellites, spacecraft, and so on, the researchers said. This breakthrough invention can also solve the problems of nuclear waste disposal, battery life and clean electricity.
Unlike most other power generation technologies, synthetic diamonds only need to be close enough to a radioactive source to generate electricity. Professor Tom Scott, a material scientist at the Center for Interactive Analysis at the University of Bristol, UK, said, "There are no moving parts, no radiation, no maintenance, and direct power generation. We encapsulate radioactive materials in diamonds and solve the problem of nuclear waste disposal, which has long been a problem for scientists. Nuclear waste can now be converted into nuclear batteries and used as a clean energy source for long-term power supply.
The prototype of the "diamond battery" made by the researchers uses the radioactive isotope "nickel-63" as the radiation source. At present, researchers are working to improve the efficiency of the battery. To achieve this goal, they used a radioactive version of carbon, carbon-14, as a source of radiation. This "carbon-14" is produced in graphite blocks used as regulators in nuclear power plants, and "carbon-14" is concentrated on the surface of these graphite blocks.
Researchers extracted carbon-14 and encapsulated it in an artificial diamond to make a nuclear battery. Because radioactive sources are safely encapsulated in non-radioactive diamonds, outer diamonds are the hardest known material. Therefore, the researchers say that the battery is theoretically safe to use. Dr. Neil Fox, a scientist at the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry, explained that "carbon-14 was chosen as a radioactive source because it emits a short-range radiation that can be absorbed by any solid substance. Therefore, it is dangerous for bare skin to touch it. But if encapsulated in diamonds, no short-range radiation can escape. In fact, diamonds are the hardest substance known to humans, and nothing else can possibly provide better protection than diamonds.
Of course, compared with other battery technologies today, diamond batteries have relatively low power consumption. However, their long life means that they can completely change the battery's properties over the lifetime. The amount of carbon-14 used in each cell is uncertain. Researchers say that if a battery contains about a gram of carbon-14, it releases about 15 joules of energy a day. "Carbon-14" has a half-life of 5730 years. This means that a battery made in 2016 will use 7746 to run out half of its energy.
Professor Scott said, "Depending on the half-life of the radioactive material, the battery will continue to lose electricity. In 5730, the battery will have only half the power left. In 11,000 years, it will have only 25% of the electricity left. After 5730 years, the batteries will continue to operate at a low power level. However, the current is strong enough to ensure the operation of some instruments or equipment, whether satellites or spacecraft, depending on the power requirements of specific equipment. Professor Scott said, "We expect that these batteries will be used in environments that are not suitable for charging or replacing traditional batteries. The obvious applications are those electrical devices with low power demand and long power supply, such as pacemakers, satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and even spacecraft.
At present, the research team has received financial support for further research in the next three years.
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