Year 2030. At the wheel of your electric car, cross the streets and motorways of Italy gliding silently through traffic. Fast, capable of a searing, emission-free recovery, your car resembles in all respects the full-electric vehicles that we already see on the road today (albeit in small quantities), except for one particular: the charging socket is missing. Not for a design error, but because it is no longer needed, since the battery charge lasts as long as the entire life of the vehicle, indeed much longer. Science fiction? Not according to the promises of NDB, a Californian startup engaged in the renewable energy sector, which revealed that it has nano-diamond batteries (Nano Diamond Batteries, or precisely NDB) in the development phase that do not need to be recharged, because they generate energy using recycled nuclear waste and which, precisely for this reason, should be able to last between ten and 28,000 years.

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Our team brings together experts in the fields of nanotechnology, nuclear science and diamonds with military, academic and research backgroundsexplains NDB CEO and co-founder Nima Golsharifi, whose mission to stop climate change to protect our planet for future generations. With the NDB battery – he continues – we have achieved an enormous and revolutionary technological discovery: an emission-free battery, which lasts thousands of years and requires only contact with air to power the devices “. It works like this: the startup’s development team starts from recycled nuclear waste (which we unfortunately have in abundance) and in particular from graphite, which is used to moderate nuclear reactions and becomes radioactive by absorbing radiation from fuel rods. Contaminated with the radioisotope carbon-14 (C-14), the graphite is purified by NBD which then uses it to create diamonds on a nanometer scale whose decay generates the charge that is collected and conveyed to the outside through a superconductor. The risk deriving from radiation is then eliminated by protecting the C14 diamonds with various layers of artificial diamonds, one of the most resistant materials we have, and which therefore makes the device shock and tamper proof.

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According to NDB, this solution will ensure that the radioactive emissions of a cell are lower than those generated by the human body, against a constant and almost inexhaustible production of energy that, when fully operational, could be used to power anything: from small and very delicate pacemakers to smartphones (which could be guaranteed ten consecutive years of operation), from satellites and spacecraft from airplanes to automobiles, of course, effectively freeing the automotive industry from what are currently the biggest obstacles to electrification: vehicle autonomy, the lack of columns and the slavery of a recharge that is still too slow. Recycle nuclear waste to generate almost eternal batteries. Too good to be true? We will find out within the next 5 years, when the current proof of concept (there is no prototype yet) in the NDB programs should have evolved into products ready for mass production.

2 September 2020 (change 2 September 2020 | 19:07)

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