Israel’s most well-known battery scientist, Professor Doron Aurbach of Bar-Ilan University, was awarded the prestigious International Battery Association (IBA) Yeager Award on March 3rd, 2014 for his work in advancing battery technology.
Aurbach conducts his research work at the Nano Cleantech Center at the Bar-Ilan University Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA). He is a pioneer in the development of the lithium-ion batteries used to power personal devices.
His most promising new project is based on the magnesium ion, which supplies more power than lithium-ion batteries. Magnesium ion batteries would be less expensive to produce. By using nano-materials to tweak individual cells, Aurbach believes the new batteries would be smaller, lighter and last 50%-100% longer than current ones.
There is tremendous corporate interest in Aurbach’s work. His lab currently partners with General Motors and BASF, along with Israeli companies Elbit, Tadiran and Vulcan. Bar-Ilan itself works with several battery start-ups, including ETV Energy and Pellion Technologies.
Talking about the fast development of magnesium ion batteries, Aurbach said, “The first batteries from ETV Energy should be ready for the market at the end of the year.” Several projects with BASF are nearing completion. He added, “Within a year or so we will see some of these innovations in cellphones, with as much as a 50% improvement in performance.”
Realizing that improved car batteries are the “golden ticket” in the battery business, Aurbach is continuing to improve upon his work to develop a less expensive electric car battery with double the range and half the weight of current batteries. “If our research is successful, they will be available sooner rather than later,” he said.
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