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Sodium-ion batteries could light path to new power cells

An experiment on sodium-ion batteries is conducted at the Hagiwara Laboratory at Kyoto University.

TOKYO -- Research is continuing apace on sodium-ion batteries, cells that could deliver more juice to gadgets much more cheaply than current power cells.

     A group led by Shinichi Komaba, a professor at Tokyo University of Science, has developed technology that increases the charge capacity of the cell by five to seven times per unit of weight, compared with conventional batteries. Although the results are preliminary, the new battery's quick-charge characteristics are comparable to the lithium-ion batteries used to power most portable devices today. The research group is working to further enhance the cell's performance, and it hopes to bring the technology to market in five to 10 years.

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