Energy. The world knows how to create it and hungers for it. The great challenge over the past 100 years is how to effectively store it.
While battery storage has come a long way since 1900, the improvements during the past 11 decades have not kept pace with the need.
Researchers have been laboring towards a quantum leap seeking to meet the soaring demand for smaller, more powerful, longer-lasting batteries. Some thought achieving such a thing would be nothing short of magic.
Well, magic sometimes happens.
The arrival of silicon anode technology
The magic began in a small way during 2004. Inside an unimposing lab, located in the department of electrical engineering at Imperial College London, a Professor Mino Green found the magic silver dust that some now believe holds the future of battery power: specifically, lithium ion batteries.
The company Green and his science team created—Nexeon—followed on the heels of their momentous discovery. That fledgling company has gone from modest experimentation to an entrepreneurial venture that's in the midst of negotiating major contracts with big corporate names headquartered from Southeast Asia to the United States of America.
Nexeon's magic product is a silver-laced silicon powder that promises to create the next generation of battery power. The applications range from smart phones and robotics to electric powered automobiles.
The magical alchemical dust is made by passing silver through silicon particles. The process produces what Nexeon calls "a hedgehog effect"—similar to the spikes on the back of a porcupine. These amalgamated spikes augment the current carbon manufactured anodes in batteries. Nexeon has been able to demonstrate that the silver-silicon anode technology extends the useful life of batteries while also making them lighter. Better still, the improved batteries can be recharged almost indefinitely with no noticeable reduction in power.
Magic silver dust wows Sony and unnamed 'Far East auto company'
Large electronics manufacturer around the globe are taking a close look at the new battery design. Giant Japanese firms like SONY are already making commitments to move ahead with contracts for the innovative silicon anode technology. An unnamed auto giant—that some insiders believe is Toyota—has expressed a strong interest in a version of the battery for use in future electric vehicles.
Scott Brown, the current CEO of Nexeon is a man with strong ties to Japan, its government and its marketplace. He travels there monthly and has forged strong ties with many of Japan's major battery manufacturers.
Recently, Brown told the UK Independent, "Consumers want thinner, lighter, safer, cheaper products…We have now proved the viability of our materials, successfully operated our pilot plant, and now we are ready to scale up. We already have a joint development project with an automobile company and we have materials under evaluation at many other companies."
Although Nexeon has competition, none have its magic powder. And in this high-tech fairy tale come true, magic powder just might make all the difference.
Nexeon tips magic dust into our batteries