STANFORD (CBS SF) — Scientists at Stanford University said they have developed a high-performance aluminum-ion battery that could replace the alkaline and lithium-ion batteries that are used to power devices today.

Stanford chemistry professor Hongjie Dai and his team made their breakthrough when they accidentally discovered that graphite would be the best material for the cathode.

“We have developed a rechargeable aluminum battery that may replace existing storage devices, such as alkaline batteries, which are bad for the environment, and lithium-ion batteries, which occasionally burst into flames,” Dai said in a university statement.

The Stanford team said there are numerous benefits with the aluminum-ion battery, including short very short charging times down to one minute.

Stanford’s aluminum-ion reportedly is far more durable than today’s laptop and cellphone batteries. The scientists said their battery can withstand 7,500 charge cycles, much more than the 1,000 charge cycles of a typical lithium-ion battery.

Researchers said they still need to improve the voltage of the aluminum-ion battery and further study is needed.

The team’s research has been published in Monday’s edition of the journal Nature.

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