Scientists have created the radioactive diamond batteries by converting nuclear waste.
According to Professor Tom Scott of the University’s Interface Analysis Centre ” There are no moving parts involved, no emissions generated and no maintenance required, just direct electricity generation”. “We Convert nuclear waste into nuclear-powered battery that produce long term supply of clean enegry”.
Unlike the majority of electricity generation technologies, which use energy to move a magnet through a coil of wire to generate a current, the man-made diamond produces a charge simply by being placed in close proximity to a radioactive source.
According to Bristol chemist Dr Neil Fox “We Choosed Carbon-14 as a source material,produces a short-range radiation, which is quickly absorbed by any solid material.
This would make it dangerous to ingest or touch with your naked skin, but safely held within diamond, no short-range radiation can escape. In fact, diamond is the hardest substance known to man, there is literally nothing we could use that could offer more protection,”
When compared to other battery technologies, the diamond batteries have a relatively low power level.
However, their long life means that they could revolutionise the powering of devices over long time scales.
While the actual amount of carbon-14 in each battery has yet to be decided, one battery, containing 1g of carbon-14, would deliver 15 Joules per day, say the researchers.
This is less than a standard alkaline AA battery.
These are designed for relatively short-term use with an energy storage rating of 700J/g.
If operated continuously, this would run out in 24 hours.
Carbon-14 has a half-life – the time it takes for its radioactivity to fade to half its initial potency – of 5,730 years.
This means a battery built in 2016 could run on full power until the year 7746.
‘The device would continue to lose power following the radioactive decay rate,’ Professor Scott told MailOnline.
‘Hence after 5,730 years, the device would reach 50 per cent power, after 11,000 years it would reach 25 per cent power and so on’.
The battery would still run on low power after 5,730 years, though whether the current would be strong enough to keep the object in question running – whether that’s a satellite or spacecraft – would depend on the power requirements of that particular device.
‘We envision these batteries to be used in situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries,’ said Professor Scott.
‘Obvious applications would be in low-power electrical devices where long life of the energy source is needed, such as pacemakers, satellites, high-altitude drones or even spacecraft’.
The researchers are asking the public to tweet suggestions of how the technology could be used, with the hashtag #diamondbattery.
The researchers have been awarded funding to develop the project over the next three years.
Sources : University of Bristol
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