This Organic Cotton Battery Charges 20x Faster



From the mighty Tesla Model S to the lowly Nissan Leaf., the lithium-ion battery is the heart of most electric vehicles today. Lithium-ion batteries have some disadvantages, though.

Critics of lithium-ion batteries (and there are many) have plenty of arguements in their corner. These batteries run hot – hot enough to cause the occasional fire. They take a long time to recharge. They are expensive and have a limited life cycle. When they are used up, they become potentially hazardous waste. Is this really what the world wants to depend on for its transportation needs?

The folks at Japan Power Plus don’t think so. They have just announced the all new Ryden battery, which is made primarily from cotton. Yes, you read that right, the fabric of our lives has become a battery. Ryden in Japanese translates into “god of lightning.” For the new battery, cotton fibers are modified to create a new form of carbon fiber unlike any ever seen before, according to Chris Craney, JPP’s chief marketing officer. The modified cotton forms the anode and cathode of the Ryden battery An organic fluid is used as an electrolyte.

Why is this a big deal?

Several reasons. The Ryden battery recharges 20X faster than its lithium based cousins. It lasts through many thousands of discharge cycles. It does not run at high temperatures, so no cooling system is required. All its components are organic and recyclable. Most importantly of all though, it should be cheaper than lithium-ion batteries once full scale production begins.

And when will that be? Well, the basic research dates back to the 1970’s, and JPP has been working on the project for more than 6 years. So the Ryden battery won’t be on the shelves at your local auto parts store anytime soon. But if the folks at JPP are right, their cotton battery do for electric vehicles what gasoline did for the auto industry.

If you missed out on Apple or Microsoft, this might be a good time to pick up a few shares of JPP, before everyone else finds out.

Source: DVICE

About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I’m interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • John J. McAvoy

    More vaporware. They don’t even pretend that a functional prototype is “just around the corner.”

  • Bi-Polar Bear

    I quite understand your skepticism, John. After all, it has taken 60 years for the world to see the self driving cars that Popular Mechanics promised us back in the 50’s! And yes, there is a lot of hype surrounding new battery technology these days.

    Yet I found nothing in this story that suggests it is just another snow job. It was first published in The Atlantic, which is hardly known for scurrilous rumor mongering. Of course, that’s no guarantee that this isn’t just another pie in the sky idea that will never see commercial production.

    What excites me about this is the promise of a fast charging, fully recyclable battery that will truly open the door to practical and affordable electric vehicles for all. When people can recharge their cars in about the same time it takes to fill the gas tank, the swing to electric cars will gain momentum. Until then, electric cars will remain just a curiosity for early adopters and very wealthy people.

    • Mark Penrice

      Or we could use solar power to produce hydrogen, and use H2 cells.

      Electrolysis is a rather inefficient process, true, but if we cover the desert in cells and recover much of the energy currently falling on it and doing nothing more than baking the rocks, would it matter so much if 90% of that is then released as heat anyway from a nearby electrolysis plant (or one halfway between there and a suitable watercourse…)? It’ll be cycled back into the environment one way or another.

      Naturally that’d have to wait until after we’ve got enough installed capacity to meet baseload demand, but after that it could be used primarily as offline storage, building up stored H2 during times of excess production in the day, covering for night-time demand… and if there’s enough then left over, it can be bottled up or pumped into tankers and sold for automotive use, camping equipment, and various other uses which currently rely on heavier, much more slowly “refilled” batteries instead…

      That’s the only way you’re going to be able to refill an electric car in the same time as an ICE one, by the way. I’ve timed it. I can get 600 miles into mine in the space of two minutes. That’s an average speed of 18,000mph. Or if we consider I might be running the engine at an average of even 10kW throughout all of that (14hp), and an average of 40mph…

      600 / 40 = 15 hours, 10kW x 15h = 150kWh (seems reasonable given the range of Tesla’s 60 and 85kWh packs, and the amount of power needed to run at that speed plus accelerate, climb hills, and how it’s an average anyway)

      150kWh in 2 minutes… that’s 4.5 megawatts.

      If you can come up with a good scheme simply for provisioning a charge point with megawatt-level power (even 1 MW, which would still allow a sub-10-minute full charge), never mind getting it safely into the car and its batteries, I’m all ears.

      More realistically, being able to fill the distance you can reasonably cover in one jaunt (maybe 200 miles, or 2.5 to 3 hours of highway driving) in 15 minutes may do, but we’re still talking about 200kW. It’s a HUGE amount of power.

      • sranger

        Cheaper to make H2 from Natural Gas and that is the ONLY way it will be done.

        • EV docmaker

          Then used in your FRACK MOBILE fool cell car.
          Long Live TESLA !!

          • sranger

            I own a model s….

          • RoadAngel

            Sorry about your luck.

          • sranger


  • Mark Penrice

    Because THAT’S not going to be a fire risk, oh no. Cotton soaked in chemicals specifically designed to store huge amounts of energy, and sink a very high power level whilst charging? Yeah, perfectly safe.

    • egogg

      So your skepticism means they should halt development and not even make it to the safety testing stage?

  • 500cid

    Will that drive up the cost of feminine hygiene products by diverting cotton to the battery makers? …{/tongue in cheek}