Skip main navigation

Current battery research

The following page show excerpts of David Officer in an interview with Maria Forsyth from Deakin University. Maria is an expert in battery research.

By now you have learned the basics of how a battery works, some of the materials that are used in the batteries and the types of battery.

You have also heard that there is no perfect battery yet and that the materials in a battery can be polluting, their availability could be scarce, and there are even worries about how ethical materials like cobalt are obtained, with potential fears of child labour in the countries that have cobalt mines.

For all these reasons researchers continue to look for better materials to use in batteries so that they can become more efficient, charge faster, hold more energy, have a lower environmental impact and reduce the ethical problems.

Most of us know that there are many different types of batteries. At present, most research takes place into:

  • solid state batteries
  • lithium-ion batteries
  • sodium ion batteries

Critique on batteries

Above and one the following pages, we see excerpts of an interview between David Officer and Maria Forsyth from Deakin University. Maria is an expert on the topic of batteries and what is happening in current research in this field. In this excerpt, she talked about some of the issues today’s batteries have.

Other Issues

We are now at a stage that lithium-ion battery demand has the potential to grow faster than the supply of lithium can meet. So, we need to be on the lookout for other battery materials. We also need other storage options such as hydrogen fuel technology, which we will look at in week 4.

Conversation Starter

What is the critique on batteries that stands out most to you? Why?

This article is from the free online

How to Survive on Earth: Energy Materials for a Sustainable Future

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now