IBM, a US technology company, said it had developed a battery design that would use materials extracted from seawater without the need for costly cobalt, bringing good news to companies eager to find alternative mineral materials. IBM has partnered with Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz research arm, Japanese battery electrolyte supplier Central Glass and battery maker Sidus to promote the commercial development of the battery design, Taiwan’s Economic Daily reported on December 20.
Jeff Welzer, IBM’s vice president of research, said the goal is to launch the first working prototype battery in about a year. Eventually, however, IBM may not have used the design to make the product.
Electric car battery manufacturers are working to reduce cobalt levels in lithium batteries, which could lead to a shortage of cobalt as the electric car market continues to expand, the report said.
IBM says the battery technology has proven to be superior to lithium batteries, including lower costs, shorter charging times and higher energy efficiency.
In addition, IBM has worked with the University of Tokyo to develop the initial practical application of quantum computing to promote the development of quantum computing. Under the agreement, IBM’s quantum computing system, Q System One, for scientific purposes, will be installed at an IBM facility in Japan, the first in Japan.
IBM is competing with alphabet and technology companies such as Microsoft to commercialize quantum computing technology that could help accelerate developments in areas such as artificial intelligence and chemistry over the next few years, the report said.