A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor from the Cockrell School of Engineering on the University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of your custom lithium battery, has evolved the initial all-solid-state battery cells that can lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage.
Goodenough’s latest breakthrough, completed with Cockrell School senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, is actually a low-cost all-solid-state battery which is noncombustible and has a lengthy cycle life (battery lifespan) with a high volumetric energy density and fast rates of charge and discharge. The engineers describe their new technology in the recent paper published inside the journal Energy & Environmental Science.
“Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are crucial for battery-driven cars to become more widely adopted. We know our discovery solves lots of the issues that are built into today’s batteries,” Goodenough said.
They demonstrated that their new battery cells have a minimum of thrice just as much energy density as today’s lithium-ion batteries. Battery power cell’s energy density gives an electrical vehicle its driving range, so a better energy density ensures that a vehicle can drive more miles between charges. The UT Austin battery formulation also provides for a larger quantity of charging and discharging cycles, which equates to longer-lasting batteries, as well as a faster rate of recharge (minutes as an alternative to hours).
Today’s lithium-ion batteries use liquid electrolytes to move the lithium ions involving the anode (the negative side in the battery) and the cathode (the positive side from the battery). If lithium battery storage is charged too rapidly, you can get dendrites or “metal whiskers” to make and cross from the liquid electrolytes, resulting in a short circuit that can result in explosions and fires. Instead of liquid electrolytes, the researchers depend upon glass electrolytes which allow using an alkali-metal anode minus the formation of dendrites.
Using an alkali-metal anode (lithium, sodium or potassium) – which isn’t possible with conventional batteries – increases the energy density of the cathode and delivers a long cycle life. In experiments, the researchers’ cells have demonstrated greater than 1,200 cycles with low cell resistance.
Additionally, for the reason that solid-glass electrolytes can operate, or have high conductivity, at -20 degrees Celsius, this particular battery in a vehicle could perform well in subzero degree weather. This dexkpky82 the initial all-solid-state battery cell that can operate under 60 degree Celsius.
Braga began developing solid-glass electrolytes with colleagues while she was on the University of Porto in Portugal. About 2 yrs ago, she began collaborating with Goodenough and researcher Andrew J. Murchison at UT Austin. Braga mentioned that Goodenough brought an awareness of your composition and properties in the solid-glass electrolytes that ended in a brand new version from the electrolytes which is now patented through the UT Austin Office of Technology Commercialization.
The engineers’ glass electrolytes allow them to plate and strip alkali metals on the cathode as well as the anode side without dendrites, which simplifies battery cell fabrication.
An additional advantage is the battery cells can be produced from earth-friendly materials.
“The glass electrolytes provide for the substitution of low-cost sodium for lithium. Sodium is obtained from seawater that is easily available,” Braga said.
Goodenough and Braga are continuing to advance their 18650 battery pack and they are concentrating on several patents. In the short term, they hope to work alongside battery makers to build up and test their new materials in electric vehicles as well as storage devices.