An American Company has converted nuclear waste into an efficient battery called, ‘Nanodiamond Battery’ that can last for up to an impressive 28,000years. Imagine a mobile phone that does not need charging for up to 9 years or a pacemaker that can run smoothly for up to 28,000 years. That is what their revolutionary Nanodiamond battery technology is capable of!
Nuclear power is a very effective way of generating clean energy. The only drawback is its massive amount of highly toxic nuclear waste which has the potential of seeping radiation into the environment. Countries around the world are spending around 100 billion US$ annually to keep them away and safe for up to 1000 years. It is a massive amount of money to spend on waste.
But now the NDB Technology in the USA has come up with a new idea to turn these nuclear waste into something very productive and at the same time safer for the environment. A battery that provides uninterrupted power that does not need recharging for thousands of years.
According to the scientists, the most part of these nuclear waste is graphite used in nuclear power plants that have absorbed the radiation in the process that became highly radioactive. With time, these gradually decay releasing hyperactive electrons in the process. Scientists used this chemical reaction to capture the energy of the releasing electrons that can be used in a battery. That means the battery produces electricity by itself.
According to Mohammed Irfan, Chief Operating Officer at NDB, “Using radioisotopes as a source for energy is not new. We have nuclear medicine, where patients are treated with controlled equipment, which has always given effective results. Similarly, we have had nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. Of course, that’s a completely different process, but it’s been able to successfully and safely deliver power and energy without safety issues.”
The Nanodiamond battery contains a pure form of recycled nuclear waste of carbon-14 graphite which is the most common by-product from nuclear power plants. Carbon-14 has a half-life of about 5700 years. In the process, scientists refined and converted this carbon-14 graphite into carbon-14 diamond. The resulting diamond now has semiconductive and heat absorption properties which come in handy for batteries.
There is also an added safety layer around this carbon-14 diamond. The layer is made of carbon-12 diamond, and it creates robust and a protective layer that does not allow the radiation to seep out.
The company believes their product can be shaped into any battery size available such as AA, AAA, 2170, 18650 and so on. These could be modified to generate electricity to be used in any application that uses a battery. Depending on the power output, the devices’ lifetime can vary from around 9 years to around 28,000 years.
The company says, as they are using a nuclear waste product as their main ingredients, it will be cost-effective. And it is said that these could generate electricity more than lithium-ion batteries. Figures are yet to be released as they are holding further productions processes due to the pandemic restrictions.
Is it safe?
The scientists confirm that there will not be any harmful radiation effect for users and its recorded radiation is even less than our body’s own radiation. And most importantly once the carbon-14 diamond is decayed releasing electricity throughout many years, there will not be any harmful material left.
So that means they have taken something very harmful and turned it into something environmentally friendly and along the way providing power for many years. From new-gen smartphones to medical devices and powering satellites to powering infrastructures even in the remote communities in the world, the company believes their nanodiamond battery is going places.