Albeit it sounds like these type of batteries only produce minute amounts of electrical power, physicists and chemists at the University of Bristol are turning useless nuclear waste into diamonds that produce electricity. The battery, which would deplete 50% of its charge after 5,730 years, "has no moving parts, gives off no emissions, and is maintenance-free."
The team has already built a prototype diamond battery that uses the isotope nickel-63 as radioactive fuel and is now moving on to using carbon-14, which will be more efficient. Because c-14 has such a long half life, the researchers estimate a diamond battery would still generate 50 percent of its capacity after 5,730 years.
"We envision these batteries to be used in situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries," says Tom Scott, Professor in Materials. "Obvious applications would be in low-power electrical devices where long life of the energy source is needed, such as pacemakers, satellites, high-altitude drones, or even spacecraft. There are so many possible uses that we're asking the public to come up with suggestions of how they would utilize this technology by using #diamondbattery."
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