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Creating Batteries That Could Help Power Air Travel

Adding lithium-ion batteries to a regional airplane could reduce that airplane’s fuel needs by up to 20 percent, new research shows.

Researchers at the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research have created new computer models to predict the life and performance of batteries that could power some passenger airplanes – a step forward for cleaner, more efficient air travel.

The models show that adding lithium-ion batteries to a regional airplane could reduce that airplane’s fuel needs by up to 20 percent, the researchers said.

The team presented the findings last week at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Electric Aircraft Technologies Symposium in Indianapolis.

“We are working on ways to make air travel less carbon-intensive,” said Marcello Canova, a co-presenter and associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Ohio State. “Lithium-ion batteries, including the technology that is commercially available today, appear to be a promising option.”

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