The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a law that would bar the Obama administration from limiting shipments of lithium-ion batteries by air.
The proposed rule by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the FAA would have eliminated exceptions for small lithium batteries, classifying them as "Class 9" hazardous cargo, and requiring a number of labeling and other safety regulations.
The House will have to reconcile its legislation with the Senate before President Obama can sign a unified joint bill, as Bloomberg noted.
There have been numerous incidents of batteries short-circuiting, and many of those have involved airplanes. (The last major battery incident involved Sony, in 2008; that recall then, however, did not cover airplanes.) The proposed rule noted that out of 21 and 44 incidents involving lithium batteries since 1991 involved passenger aircraft; of those, 16 involved carry-on luggage, and one involved checked baggage. Twenty-three incidents involved cargo aircraft, presumably in pallets of batteries being transported by air.
I think we all know that cars are one of the worst polluters on the planet today, and so I find it nice of Nissan to introduce the greener Leaf, a car that has zero emissions. The Nissan Leaf has a lithium ion battery-powered chassis that is good for 160km (100 miles) on a single charge. Best of all, its lack of a tailpipe can reduce one’s “carbon footprint” significantly. I don’t have a price for it yet, but it should be “affordable” to the family of five that it has room for. The car is slated to launch late next year in Japan, the United States, and Europe.
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Get extra energy on the go with Duracell My Pocket Chargers. Use them with your cell phone, BlackBerry, MP3 player or any other device that uses AA batteries. The portable chargers give you 24 hrs. of usage and come in a two pack with 2 Coppertop batteries and connector cable. The PowerSource Mini has a lithium-ion battery that can be charged by AC, car DC, or PC USB port. Each is available for $19.99.
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Imagine charging your self phone in seconds instead of hours. Professor Gerbrand Ceder from MIT has devised a new lithium-ion battery electrode that is many times faster than its predecessors. While most discharge at a rate of a minute and a half with the best high powered batteries, this one works in only 10 to 20 seconds. That rate will allow a 1 liter battery to deliver about 25,000W, enough power for about 20 vacuum cleaners. Ceder and his team modified lithium iron phosphate, an electrode material, so that electrons and ions could move more quickly.
Current lithium rechargeable batteries can store large amounts of energy but don’t have the acceleration speed. Professor Cedar claims that because the material is not new, but simply remade, scientists could conceivably market it in the next couple of years.
If you have a need for speed (13.5 mph worth) or are too lazy to walk around campus or your workplace, the iShoes will get you there without making you look too dorky in the attempt. The 123 Lithium-ion battery pack needs a two hour recharge for up to 3 miles of traveling. At a size of 11.8 x 19.0 x 4-inches, they weigh under 12 lbs. and can support up to 250 lbs. The iShoes come with a throttle cable and a MSRP of $499.00 (although the site lists a price of $599.99.)
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