BY CAROLINE DELBERT
It’s powered by nuclear waste, but still safe for humans.
In two years, one startup says you’ll be able to buy its diamond nuclear-powered battery. Even cooler: The battery will last for up to 28,000 years.
We know—that sounds wild. The potential game-changer comes from the U.S. startup NDB, which stands for Nano Diamond Battery, a “high-power diamond-based alpha, beta, and neutron voltaic battery” its research scientist founders say can give devices “life-long and green energy.”
Could NDB’s bold claim actually become a reality?
To build its nano diamond battery, NDB combines radioactive isotopes from nuclear waste with layers of paneled nano diamonds. Diamonds are a rare thing to begin with, but they are extremely good heat conductance makes them even more unusual in the realm of construction of devices. Micro-sized single crystal diamonds move heat away from the radioactive isotope materials so quickly that the transaction generates electricity.
Scientists presented the first known diamond nuclear voltaic (DNV) battery concept using waste graphite from a graphite-cooled nuclear reactor. The radioactively contaminated graphite could last thousands of years, with the heat-conducting diamonds pulling that energy away into electricity alongside it the whole time. NDB’s concept is the same, but with layers and layers of the diamond and radioactive waste panels to equal higher total amounts of energy.
You’re probably wondering what the catch is.