A firm called ZPower is pushing its new silver-zinc batteries as a good alternative to lithium-ion batteries. The firm says their new silver-zinc based batteries are safer and have a 30% higher energy density than li-ion batteries:
According to ZPower president and CEO Ross Dueber, the batteries can even be safely overcharged to allow for additional runtime.
ZPower batteries are composed of a composite polymer zinc anode, layered separator and a nano-particle silver cathode. Since the cells used in ZPower's batteries are water-based, they are as safe to use as traditional alkaline batteries.
The zinc and silver used in the batteries are also 95 percent recyclable. ZPower will have a program in place in which customers can recycle their used batteries and get reimbursed for the value of the silver and zinc recovered. Customers will receive a check or receive credit towards the purchase of new cells according to Dueber.
All is not well, however, with ZPower's batteries. Pre-production batteries are only good for about 100 cycles compared to around 300 cycles for lithium-ion batteries. ZPower hopes to increase this figure to 200 cycles by mid-2008 and to 300+ cycles by 2010.
However, the batteries won't work in current products due to the difference in voltage and battery chemistry of silver-zinc batteries. Notebooks and cell phones will specifically need to be designed for this new type of batteries for optimal efficiency. Pricing details aren't available.