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IBM’s new battery design, taps, sea water as an alternative to mineral resource

FILE PHOTO: A man stands in the vicinity of an IBM logo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 25, 2019 at the latest. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/Photo File

(Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp on Wednesday said it will come with a new battery pack technology, which makes use of materials that are from the sea, and does not require any cobalt, if the race is on to find alternative sources in order to the costly mineral-fortified.

IBM said it has partnered with the research wing of the Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, a battery electrolyte supplier in City of Glass, the manufacturer of the battery, Sidus, for the commercial development of the new design.

“The goal would be that within a year or so, we have the first working prototype (of the battery),” said Jeff Welser, vice-president at IBM Research.

IBM may not necessarily lead to the creation of a product in terms of design, the Welser added.

The move comes as the the top of the battery makers have been scrambling to reduce the cobalt content in the lithium-ion batteries as well as the expansion of the electric vehicle market is expected to lead to, a deficiency of this mineral, especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

IBM said its technology has been proven to perform better than lithium-ion batteries, the charging time and energy efficiency.

Reporting Munsif Vengattil and Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy, Caren, Daniel

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