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Battery Articles

We are on the verge of a battery breakthrough, which is especially important for electric cars. Such a breakthrough has the potential to radically transform a transportation sector already flirting with an electric renaissance, improve the performance of intermittent energy sources such as wind and sun, and increase the efficiency and stability of power grids--all while fulfilling an oil-addicted America's quest for energy security.

A battery is made up of one or more cells. Each cell consists of a negative electrode and a positive electrode kept apart by a separator soaked in a conductive electrolyte that allows ions, but not electrons, to travel between them. When a battery is connected to a load, a chemical reaction begins. As positively charged ions travel from the negative to the positive electrode through the electrolyte, a proportional number of negatively charged electrons must make the same journey through an external circuit, resulting in an electric current that does useful work.