Adding a bit of asphalt speeds lithium battery charging by 20 times

A Rice University chemist found that adding asphalt to lithium batteries allowed the battery to go "from zero charge to full charge in five minutes, rather than the typical two hours or more needed with other batteries."

The Rice lab of chemist James Tour developed anodes comprising porous carbon made from asphalt that showed exceptional stability after more than 500 charge-discharge cycles. A high-current density of 20 milliamps per square centimeter demonstrated the material's promise for use in rapid charge and discharge devices that require high-power density. The finding is reported in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.