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Scientists discover why cell phone batteries discharge without use and even when turned off

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Have you noticed that you phone consume battery even when deprecated? Canadian scientists decided to investigate the issue and have found an answer to it.

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“This is totally unexpected and something probably nobody thought of,” Michael Metzger, an assistant professor at Dalhousie University, said after the study.

Why does my disused cell phone discharge?

Although a complementary answer is the computer’s background processes, the researchers note that the small pieces of tape that hold the battery components together are made of the wrong kind of plastic.

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The batteries They release energy due to a chemical reaction. Inside each cell of the battery, there are two types of metal. One acts as a positive electrode and the other as a negative electrode. These electrodes are held in an electrolyte liquid or paste which is often a form of lithium.

When you connect the cables to each end of the battery electrons flow through the wires, powering light bulbs, laptops, or whatever else is in the circuit, and back to the battery. The problem starts if those electrons don’t follow the wires.

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When electrons move from one charged side of the battery to the other through the electrolytic liquid, it is called self-discharge. The battery it is running out internally without sending electrical current. This is why devices that are fully charged can slowly lose their charge while turned off.

“These days, the batteries they’re very good,” Metzger said. “But, like any product, you want to perfect it. And you want to eliminate even small self-discharge fees.”

How did they find out?

In the battery lab at Dalhousie University, dozens of battery cells batteries Experimental cells are charged and discharged over and over again, in environments up to 85°C for research, reveals CBC.

In their test, they discovered that the errors are due to dimethyl terephthalate (DMT). It is a substance that transports electrons within the battery instead of flowing out through the wires and generating electricity.

Through chemical analysis, the team realized that DMT has a similar structure to another molecule: polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Piece by piece, the team analyzed the components of the battery. They realized that the thin strips of metal and insulation rolled tightly inside the casing were taped together. Those little segments of tape were made of PET, the kind of plastic that had been causing the electrolytic fluid to turn red and self-discharge the battery. battery.

The team even proposed a solution to the problem: use a slightly more expensive, but also more stable plastic composite. One option is polypropylene, which is typically used to make more durable plastic items like outdoor furniture or reusable water bottles.

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A full time tech enthusiast with a passion for writing. Religiously follow everything new happening in the tech world and share my two cents with my audience here.

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