Image credit – US Army/David McNally

While our gadgets no doubt solve a lot of problems in our lives, it in turn creates another problem, which is our reliance on these gadgets, meaning that we are usually left in an inconvenient state when our phones or laptops run out of battery, but this is a problem that the US might have solved.

While external battery packs and solar power are pretty common ways of charging our devices on the go, they can be bulky and heavy, which is why the US Army’s recent discovery is rather interesting because it actually relies on powder. This is an aluminum-based powder that when mixed with water produces a high amount of energy that in their testing, was enough to power a remote controlled model tank.

This appears to be an unexpected discovery when researchers mixed a nanogalvanic aluminum-based powder with water and noticed that the water began bubbling away, and upon closer inspection they realized that this was the result of hydrolysis, which for aluminum usually requires a catalyst such as heat, acid, electricity, or other chemicals.

According to one of the physicists on the team, Anit Giri, “In our case, it does not need a catalyst. Also, it is very fast. For example, we have calculated that one kilogram (2.2 lb) of aluminum powder can produce 220 kilowatts of power in just three minutes. That’s a lot of power to run any electrical equipment. These rates are the fastest known without using catalysts such as an acid, base or elevated temperatures.”

That being said it does not seem like it will be put to practical use so fast as the researchers are currently working on what other applications this discovery could be used for.

Filed in General >Military. Read more about Science and _cold.

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