Research and Development at the service of energy transition
The most innovative companies win this challenge


IBM, a company operating in innovation at the service of companies and institutions around the world, tells us the fifth story.

IBM research has produced a battery that does not rely on the use of heavy metals such as nickel and cobalt but instead employs materials extracted from seawater.

Change must be anticipated and scientific research can make a difference. Thinking outside the box is essential to accelerate energy transition and the decarbonisation process.


Today's batteries often employ materials that pose problems and concern for the environment and for humans, but innovation can change that.

As part of the research on materials, in December 2019 IBM Research announced the discovery of new chemical elements extracted from seawater that can be used to power batteries instead of traditional heavy metals such as nickel, cobalt, lead and cadmium.

This new battery is very promising also in terms of performance. In initial tests, it has shown to exceed lithium-ion batteries on a number of aspects including lower costs, higher power, high energy efficiency, low flammability and faster charging times (in five minutes it can reach an 80% charge status).

This new discovery makes the procurement of many elements of our energy infrastructure less invasive and expensive and more sustainable, avoiding the use of materials such as cobalt, widely available in Central Africa and subject to careless extraction and exploitation practices.

These batteries could represent important resources for electric vehicles. Moreover, being designed for a long life cycle, they could represent an option for power grid applications and new energy infrastructures where longevity and stability are essential.  This research project is capable of giving a technological and sustainable shock to various sectors.



Sustainable Development Goals

The initiative contributes to the achievement of some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Affordable and Clean EnergyIndustry, Innovation and InfrastructureResponsible Consumption and Production