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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

New Rechargeable Batteries Are Cheaper, Less Poisonous

June 06, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Scottish scientists have found a way to make cheap, rechargeable lithium batteries that could one day be used in appliances ranging from mobile phones to electric cars. The new batteries replace the toxic ingredient cobalt, now used in the electrodes of such batteries, with manganese, which is less poisonous and much cheaper.

Chemists Robert Armstrong and Peter Bruce of the University of St Andrews reported their findings in today's issue of Nature. Armstrong said Sony came up with the first lithium battery in 1990, and although his version is not yet ready to compete, it could be as soon as minor problems are worked out.

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