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Not in mass production yet, but these look interesting.

Take radioactive carbon 14, coat with safer carbon 12, compress the lot to make synthetic diamonds that give off heat & radiation. Convert to electricity (I do not see how.). Now you have a power source that never needs charging. Add some capacitors to buffer between slow charge & fluctuating demand, & you can replace batteries.
 

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Never needs charging? Does sound like a nuclear power source.
Thermoelectric nuclear batteries are used in space, and used to be used in pacemakers, so the tech is out there.

They updated the article to say:
Update, August 27, 2020: We have contacted NDB to clarify several of their claims in this article. At this stage we believe the power density claims may relate to the power delivered by the supercapacitor part of the cell, rather than to how much energy the carbon-14 diamond itself is capable of generating. If this is the case, we may be looking at a very slow trickle charge from the diamond into the supercapacitor, and a high power output from the supercapacitor.
So maybe not as impressive. Still very cool!
 

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Just from the description visible without clicking any links, this is obviously complete nonsense. New Atlas strikes again...
 

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They're real enough, they're called betavoltaic batteries if you want to Google it. Think of it like a solar cell that uses radiation instead of photons. Energy density is high because they last thousands of years. But the power density is nowhere near what you'd need for even a cellphone. Unless you're fine leaving your phone alone for a week to trickle charge.

The NDB company hasn't published much of anything, but other nuclear battery companies and researchers are out there with less hype/secrecy and their target applications are small low-power devices. Useful power is expected to be in the mW range, possibly only micro Watts per cubic centimeter. Stack them in series/parallel by the thousands just to match the power of a single Li-Ion 18650.

And that's before they even have to tackle problems like how to cheaply produce artificial diamond structures in large quantities, or, you know, people questioning radioactive material being spread all over the world.

I love the idea of putting radioactive waste to good use, but this is an overhyped pipedream by NDB.
 

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Energy density is high because they last thousands of years. But the power density is nowhere near what you'd need for even a cellphone.
The reality of radioactive half-life strikes again. Carbon-14 is radioactive so it is a possible energy source, and the half-life is about 5,730 years so some persists in nature and it will stay radioactive for a long time... but that same long half-life means that the rate of decay for a given mass is tiny, so any power potential is similarly tiny. Add to that the difficulty of using the energy of beta emissions (the principle of a betavoltaic device), and you know in the first minute of any investigation (or the first few seconds of reading the first post of this thread) that it will not be a generally useful power source.

Then there's the energy required to build the battery, which will greatly exceed the energy to come out of it.

The Wikipedia page for "diamond battery" is pretty good, and I really like Daren's explanation of a betavoltaic device. :)
Think of it like a solar cell that uses radiation instead of photons.
 

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These appear to be an existing and not revolutionary product. Possibly a this is startup-scam to make a bit of cash. Been debunked numerous times. Here is a good mathematical analysis on them:
 

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These appear to be an existing and not revolutionary product.
There are radioisotope-driven betavoltaic cells (probably not in actual production), but not ones using carbon-14.

Been debunked numerous times. Here is a good mathematical analysis on them:
Yes, they're hopeless for EVs, as we discussed earlier. The guy in the video probably gets around to that eventually, but I gave up listening to the chatter after a couple of minutes.
 

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And since this is a DIY channel, DIY-ers will want to verify all this for themselves, based on the mass of a mole of C-14 atoms (14 g), the energy in the electron from one beta decay (156000 eV), and the half-life of C14 (5730 years = 181 gigaseconds).

The energy in half a mole of those beta decays (the number of C14 atoms that decay during 5730 years) is 602/2 x 10²¹ * 156000 = 47 x 10²⁷ ev = 7.53 GJ, slightly more than the energy in a barrel of oil. Not bad for a mere 14 grams! Even an empty barrel weighs far more.

But the G in gigajoules cancels the G in gigaseconds. So the average power over that period is 7.53/181 = .0416 W. A bit higher at the start, around 60 mW, and half that or 30 mW after 5730 years (because half the C14 has beta-decayed to N14 leaving only half to keep emitting electrons).

So 14 metric tonnes of C14 at 100% efficiency could provide 60 kW. 0-60 mph with that weight would likely take close to a minute (DIY).

C14 is not exactly abundant. Even if there's 14 tonnes of C14 in the whole world, it's unlikely there's 28 tonnes.

And it would be much easier to solve global warming by extracting individual molecules of CO2 from the atmosphere than individual atoms of C14 from wherever, since there's vastly more of the former. If you're bad Santa will put lumps of C12 in your stocking but he doesn't have lumps of C14 even if you're good. C14 atoms come individually gift wrapped.
 

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So 14 metric tonnes of C14 at 100% efficiency could provide 60 kW. 0-60 mph with that weight would likely take close to a minute (DIY).
And even a hybrid, using the C-14 betavoltaic battery at full power all the time and a few kWh of battery to smooth out power demand so that 80 kW peaks can be met, would need a couple of tonnes of C-14 in a battery weighing many times that much (because most of the material is not the C-14). Yes, reality is harsh.
 
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