In a significant breakthrough, International Business Machines Corp stated, it has created a battery design that uses materials extracted from seawater and which does not use cobalt, an expensive mineral.
IBM stated, it has partnered with the research wing of Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, and battery manufacturer Sidus, for the commercial development of the new design.
“The goal would be, within a year or so, to have the first working prototype (of the battery),” said Jeff Welser, vice president at IBM Research while adding, IBM may not necessarily end up making a product using the design.
The development comes midst intensifying competition among the world’s top battery makers to reduce cobalt content in lithium-ion batteries. The dramatic rise in the adoption of electric vehicles in the coming years is expected to result in shortages of cobalt, which is mainly found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
IBM stated, its technology has proven to outperform lithium-ion batteries in cost, charging time and energy efficiency.
Its statement also saus, it has entered into an partnership agreement with the University of Tokyo to advance the field of quantum computing by developing the first practical application of the technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, an IBM Q System One, the company’s quantum computing system designed for scientific use, will be installed in an IBM facility in Japan, in what will be the first such installation in Japan.