Diamond Battery Can Generate Power for Thousands of Years
Science & Tech / /
Thanks to the lab-made diamond that can generate electricity made from upcycled radioactive waste, scientists from the University of Bristol Cabot Institute are hitting two birds with one stone.
When the atoms of radioactive uranium are split in a process called nuclear fission, heat is generated, and that heat then vaporizes water into steam that turns electricity-generating turbines.
On the other side, a downside of this process is the creation of dangerous radioactive waste, which ultimately deposits in the graphite core that it is housed in. This nuclear waste is then stored away until its radioactivity stops, which can take around 5,730 years.
In order to make advantage of this radioactivity, scientists found a way to heat the radioactive graphite to the point they start to release most of the radioactivity in a gaseous form. Subjected to low pressures and high temperature the gas turns it into a man-made diamond.
When such diamonds are exposed near a radioactive field, they generate a small electrical current. The scientists enclosed the diamond battery in another non-radioactive diamond, which role is to absorb the harmful emissions, which allow generation of even more electricity, making the battery efficient almost 10o%.
It is estimated that this nuclear diamond battery will only be half used up by the year 7746. As Tom Scott, a materials science professor at Cabot Institute said, that makes it an ideal power solution for “situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries.”
Even when not putting the emphasize on sustainability, the process of supplying the Earth with electricity is a daunting process. But the idea nuclear-powered diamond battery is quite encouraging. It’s seems like the holy grail of electricity generation, “no emissions generated and no maintenance required, just direct electricity generation.”