The new electrolyte doubles the capacity of all lithium batteries – from smartphones to electric carsNovember 29, 2019
Australian scientists have turned conventional industrial polymers into solid-state electrolytes for lithium batteries. Development paves the way for more capacious and safer batteries.
Scientists from the Institute of Advanced Materials reported a breakthrough in creating “the first clean and functional sample of a liquid-free and efficient transport of lithium ions in the scientific community.” Instead of volatile liquids, which are usually used in modern batteries and which can lead to battery fire, they used a solid polymer that weakly interacts with lithium ions, writes New Atlas.
If the industry launches it into mass production, according to the head of the research group, Chen Fanfang, in the future devices with batteries can be safely taken into the baggage of the aircraft, and passengers of electric vehicles will not be at risk of fire.
In addition to safety, the new solid-state polymer electrolyte will finally allow the production of lithium anode batteries.
This will be a breakthrough in the world of batteries: according to the authors of the report “Trends in Chemistry”, a lithium anode is critical to increase the capacity of lithium batteries. Now it is precisely his absence that holds back the spread of electric cars, airplanes and portable electronics.
Such an anode could double the capacity of lithium batteries, which now stands at approximately 250 W * h / kg (Tesla Model 3 battery, one of the best in the industry). 500 W * h / kg – this is an opportunity to significantly increase the range or reduce the weight and price of the battery, while adding dynamics.
Another advantage: scientists used only existing polymers, which means that the production of such batteries will not require serious re-equipment of factories.
Now, Chen and his colleagues are testing their invention in watch batteries and are getting ready to start testing batteries for mobile phones. Upon completion, Australian researchers will begin to search for commercial partners to enter the market.
A new electrolyte mixture and a simple additive for next-generation lithium-ion batteries were recently developed by US scientists. It allows you to replace the graphite anode with a silicon one, which will increase the capacity, service life and battery safety.
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