Researchers advance fuel cell technology

Science Daily  June 8, 2020 A team of researchers in the US (Washington State University, UMass Lowell, Stony Brook, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) used an inexpensive catalyst made from nickel and then added molybdenum nanoparticles as a dopant to make a fuel cell. In tests the fuel cell was able to run for 24 hours straight without failing. The system was resistant to carbon build-up and sulfur poisoning. Fuel cells that run on gasoline tend to build up carbon within the cell, stopping the conversion reaction. Other chemicals that are common in liquid fuels, such as sulfur, […]

Researchers develop viable sodium battery

Science Daily  June 1, 2020 An international team of researchers (USA – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Washington State University, China) created a layered metal oxide cathode and a liquid electrolyte that included extra sodium ions. The cathode design and electrolyte system allowed for continued movement of sodium ions, preventing inactive surface crystal build-up, and allowing for unimpeded electricity generation. The research revealed the essential correlation between cathode structure evolution and surface interaction with the electrolyte. They are working to better understand the important interaction between the electrolyte and the cathode, so they can work with different materials […]

Roadmap for battery research in Europe

EurekAlert  May 13, 2020 To develop tomorrow’s batteries, partners from science and industry all over Europe have launched the research initiative BATTERY 2030+. The roadmap defines the milestones in more detail: A joint platform for the development of materials with the help of AI, networked sensors and self-healing technology for batteries, and sustainable production and recycling processes. It defines the properties of future batteries and lists measures to accelerate development. Three main research lines are identified: accelerate search for new materials and the right material mix, develop novel functions, and establish production and recycling concepts…read more.

Room-temperature superionic conduction achieved using pseudorotation of hydride complexes  May 13, 2020 Solid-state ionic conductors’ superior ionic conductivities require high temperature to activate the rotation of polyanions, which conversely means low conductivities at room temperature. Researchers in Japan were able to reduce the activation temperature by using transition metal hydride complexes as a new class of rotatable polyanions, wherein hydrogen is the sole ligand species, covalently binding to single transition metals. The rotation of transition metal hydride complexes only requires displacements of highly mobile hydrogen and can therefore be expected to occur with low activation energy. The mechanism is quite general and would be useful in lowering the […]

Stretchable lithium-ion battery is based on new micro-honeycomb structure

Nanowerk  April 29, 2020 In stretchable batteries the electrodes must have a degree of stretchability because the active materials occupy most of the volume, and the separator and packaging should also be stretchable. Researchers in South Korea have developed an all-component stretchable lithium-ion battery by leveraging the structural stretchability of re-entrant micro-honeycomb graphene–carbon nanotube (CNT)/active material composite electrodes and a physically cross-linked gel electrolyte, without using an inactive elastomeric substrate or matrix. Active materials interconnected via the entangled CNT and graphene sheets provided a mechanically stable porous network framework consisting solely of binder-free, highly conductive materials which provided superior electron […]

Simple method for ceramic-based flexible electrolyte sheets for lithium metal batteries

EurekAlert  April 11, 2020 The garnet-type ceramic Li7La3Zr2O12 (LLZO) is one of the few solid-state fast-ion conductors that is stable against Li metal. However, the densification of LLZO powders usually requires high sintering temperatures which likely results in Li loss and various side reactions. Researchers in Japan have developed a process to make flexible composite Al-doped LLZO (Al-LLZO) sheet electrolyte which can be mass-produced at room temperature. The sheet electrolyte enables Li-metal batteries to operate at both 60 and 30 °C, demonstrating its potential application for developing practical Li-metal batteries…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

An all-organic proton battery energized for sustainable energy storage

EurekAlert  April 2, 2020 Researchers in Sweden have developed a battery using quinones, which occurs in photosynthesis, as the active material. It has the ability to absorb or emit hydrogen ions during charging and discharging. An acidic aqueous solution was used as an electrolyte. They demonstrated the battery can be easily charged using a solar cell without the help of advanced electronics and it is unaffected by ambient temperature. The battery retains properties such as capacity down to as low as -24°C… read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries

Nanowerk  March 13, 2020 Though promising all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) still face barriers that limit their practical application such as poor interfacial stability, scalability challenges and production safety. In this review article researchers at UC San Diego seek to evaluate solid-state electrolytes beyond conventional factors and offer a perspective on various bulk, interface and nanoscale phenomena that require urgent attention within the scientific community. They provide a realistic assessment of the current state-of-the-art characterization techniques and evaluate future full cell ASSB prototyping strategies. They hope to offer rational solutions to overcome some major fundamental obstacles faced by the ASSB community, as […]

‘Spillway’ for electrons could keep lithium metal batteries from catching fire

Science Daily  March 12, 2020 Researchers at UC San Diego have developed a novel separator design for lithium batteries to mitigate the effects of an internal short circuit by limiting the self‐discharge current to prevent cell temperature rise. A nano‐composite Janus separator with a fully electronically insulating side contacting the anode and a partially electronically conductive (PEC) coating with tunable conductivity contacting the cathode is implemented to intercept dendrites, control internal short circuit resistance, and slowly drain cell capacity. They demonstrated that Li‐metal batteries with the Janus separator perform normally before shorting, which then results in a gradual increase of […]

Simple self-charging battery offers power solutions for devices  February 25, 2020 An international team of researchers (Portugal. USA – UT Austin) made a battery with two different metals as electrodes and a lithium-rich glass electrolyte which would feed both electrodes with lithium ions, on charge and discharge with no need for lithium metal. The electrochemical cell demonstrates an entanglement between negative resistance, negative capacitance, self-charge, self-cycling, and the activation energy vs thermal energy or external work. The phenomenon of self-cycling is enhanced at low temperatures where the activation energy is higher than the thermal energy. These batteries can be used in extremely low-frequency communications and in devices […]