Batteries that can be assembled in ambient air

EurekAlert  February 1, 2021 Lithium batteries are typically assembled in a dry room that controls moisture because lithium salts in the electrolytes are highly reactive with moisture, which has a significant effect on the battery performance. Researchers in South Korea fabricated impurity scavenging separator membrane (ISM) using a powerful H2O and HF scavenging material. The material was synthesized by a urethane reaction between porous silica (p-SiO2) and (3-isocynatopropyl) triethoxysilane (ICPTES). The p-SiO2 reaction with ICPTES suppressed the acidification of the electrolyte with water and resulted in maintaining the shape of the SiO2 particles. The multifunctional separator exhibited high capacity retention […]

Innovative battery chemistry revolutionizes zinc-air battery

Science Daily  January 4, 2021 An international team of researchers (Germany, China, USA – University of Maryland, US Army Research Laboratory) has developed a zinc-air battery based on an innovative, non-alkaline, aqueous electrolyte bringing a previously unknown reversible zinc peroxide chemistry into the zinc-air battery. The new battery overcomes the high chemical instability, parasitic reactions in the usage of alkaline electrolytes lead to electrochemical irreversibility. The electrolyte which is based on the zinc trifluoromethanesulfonate salt, has several decisive advantages – the zinc anode is used more efficiently with a higher chemical stability and electrochemical reversibility, operate stably for 320 cycles […]

The Lithium-Ion Battery With Built-In Fire Suppression

IEEE Spectrum  October 22, 2020 To make lithium-ion batteries lighter, safer and more efficient a team of researchers in the US (Stanford University, SALC National Accelerators Laboratory) redesigned current conductors, thin metal foils that distribute current to and from electrodes, by replacing the all-copper conductor middle, with a layer of lightweight polymer coated in ultrathin copper and embedded fire retardant in the polymer layer to quench flames. The polymer makes the current collector 80 percent lighter, leading to an increase in energy density from 16 to 26 percent. Whenever the battery has combustion issues, the fire retardant embedded inside the […]

Scientists identify solid electrolyte materials that boost lithium-ion battery performance

TechXplore  September 22, 2020 To find reliable solid electrolytes a team of researchers in the US (Stanford University, industry) trained a computer algorithm to screen more than 12,000 lithium-containing compounds in a materials database. Within minutes the algorithm identified approximately 20 promising materials, including four little-known compounds made of lithium, boron and sulfur. They studied four compounds using density functional theory, which simulates how the materials would behave at the atomic level. Their findings include the following: Lithium-boron-sulfur electrolytes could be about twice as stable as the leading solid electrolytes; When mixed together, the four lithium-boron-sulfur compounds would continue functioning […]

BATTERY 2030+ – large-scale European initiative for battery research starts up

EurekAlert  September 9, 2020BATTERY 2030+ is a EU Horizon 2020 funded project led by Sweden. The goal is to create more environmentally friendly and safer batteries with better performance, greater storage options and longer life. The current research projects are operating in three different areas: I. Development of a European infrastructure platform to combine large-scale calculations and experimental studies to map the complex reactions that take place in a battery. II. Development and integration of sensors that examine and report on the battery’s health in real time. III. Development of self-healing components that extend battery life and improve safety…read more.

New insights into lithium-ion battery failure mechanism

Science Daily  August 25, 2020 Ni-rich layered cathode materials are among the most promising candidates for high-energy-density Li-ion batteries, yet their degradation mechanisms are still poorly understood. Researchers in the UK found that as the battery materials expand and shrink the lithium ions move in and out. With prolonged use the atoms at the surface of the material had rearranged to form new structures that are no longer able to store energy. The areas of reconstructed surface apparently act as stakes that pin the rest of the material in place and prevent it from the contraction which is required to […]

Thin layer protects battery, allows cold charging

Science Daily  August 26, 2020 Stable operation of rechargeable lithium-based batteries at low temperatures is plagued by dendritic Li plating and unstable solid–electrolyte interphase (SEI). A team of researchers in the US (Pennsylvania State University, Argonne National Laboratory, Ohio University, University of Illinois) used a self-assembled monolayer of electrochemically active molecules on current collectors that regulates the nanostructure and composition of the SEI and deposition morphology of Li metal anodes to achieve high performance. A multilayer SEI that contains a lithium fluoride-rich inner phase and amorphous outer layer effectively seals the Li surface, in contrast to the conventional SEI, which […]

A Battery That’s Tough Enough To Take Structural Loads

IEEE Spectrum  August 19, 2020 The main problem to overcome in load-bearing batteries is the tradeoff between electrochemical performance and mechanical strength. A team of researchers in the US (University of Michigan, Texas A&M University) used a solid electrolyte and covered the electrodes with a membrane whose nanostructure of fibers is derived from Kevlar. That makes the membrane tough enough to suppress the growth of dendrites. The researchers do not announce how many watt-hours his prototype stores per gram. Drones and other autonomous robots may benefit from the technology as their range is severely chained to their battery capacity…read more. […]

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 […]