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This 25-year-old IITian’s nanotech startup could make your car run on water

Think Change India
21st Nov 2018
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­The metal-air battery developed by nanotech startup Log 9 costs nearly half as much as a lithium-ion battery used in electric cars and will let it run for 1,000 km on a single charge.

Fed up of rising fuel prices? Twenty-five-year-old Akshay Singhal, Co-founder and CEO of Log 9, a nanotechnology startup, may have the answer to your problems. A PhD from IIT-Roorkee, Singhal has developed a metal-air battery, which could well make your car run on water.

No, it’s not a scam. Log 9 uses graphene to make metal-air batteries commercially affordable for electric vehicles as well as for stationary applications such as power backup products like inverters.

Nanotech
Akshay Singhal driving the electric car running on Log 9's new battery technology (Source: The Hindu)

Singhal states the graphene is a million times thinner than paper and 200 times stronger than steel, which makes it the future of next-generation batteries.

According to Log 9, the car runs on electricity produced by an electrochemical reaction. The addition of a graphene rod along the metal plate generates electricity with water as it is a base for the chemical reaction. The electricity produced is then channelled into the electric motor.

In contrast, says Singhal, the lithium-ion battery is limited to storing energy and not generating energy.

In an interview to The Hindu he said,

“For instance, an e-vehicle has a mileage of 100-150 km, after which it has to be charged. The charging on an average takes about five hours. If you are driving from Koramangala to the airport (in Bengaluru), you can’t drive back with a single charge. The company aims to replace this requirement to charge e-vehicles and instead refuel them just like gasoline, but with water.”

In terms of performance, Log 9 claims its metal-air battery provides a mileage of 1,000 km on a single charge and costs half as much as a lithium-ion battery.

Also read: IITians accidentally develop cigarette filter preventing 50 pc chemicals from entering smokers’ mouths

Incubated in 2015 at IIT-Roorkee, Singhal and his batchmate and Co-founder Kartik Hajela have been working on several different practical applications in areas such as medicine, biotechnology and electrical engineering.

Prior to powering up electric vehicles, Log 9 launched a product called PuFF. It’s a graphene-based filter that can be attached to cigarettes, which will reduce toxic chemicals by 50 percent, unaffecting the smoking experience. The product is being sold under the pharmaceutical brand name ‘Filtr’.

In addition, the startup has made products such as non-electric water purification systems, air filtration and other purification products. It holds three patents in graphene synthesis and graphene products, reports the Financial Express.

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