A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the custom lithium battery, has evolved the initial all-solid-state battery cells that may lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld cellular devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage.
Goodenough’s latest breakthrough, completed with Cockrell School senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, can be a low-cost all-solid-state battery that is certainly noncombustible and possesses a lengthy cycle life (battery lifespan) having a high volumetric energy density and fast rates of charge and discharge. The engineers describe their new technology in a 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 get more widely adopted. We think our discovery solves many of the issues that are built into today’s batteries,” Goodenough said.
The researchers demonstrated their new battery cells have no less than three times just as much energy density as today’s lithium-ion batteries. A battery cell’s energy density gives an electric powered vehicle its driving range, so a better energy density ensures that an auto can drive more miles between charges. The UT Austin battery formulation also allows for an increased number of charging and discharging cycles, which equates to longer-lasting batteries, in addition to a faster rate of recharge (minutes as opposed to hours).
Today’s lithium-ion batteries use liquid electrolytes to move the lithium ions between your anode (the negative side in the battery) and also the cathode (the positive side in the battery). If lithium battery storage is charged too quickly, it can cause dendrites or “metal whiskers” to form and cross through the liquid electrolytes, resulting in a short circuit that can bring about explosions and fires. As an alternative to liquid electrolytes, the researchers rely on glass electrolytes that enable the usage of 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 any cathode and offers a long cycle life. In experiments, the researchers’ cells have demonstrated a lot more than 1,200 cycles with low cell resistance.
Additionally, since the solid-glass electrolytes can operate, or have high conductivity, at -20 degrees Celsius, this particular battery in a car could perform well in subzero degree weather. This dexkpky82 the 1st all-solid-state battery cell that could operate under 60 degree Celsius.
Braga began developing solid-glass electrolytes with colleagues while she was in the University of Porto in Portugal. About a couple of years ago, she began collaborating with Goodenough and researcher Andrew J. Murchison at UT Austin. Braga claimed that Goodenough brought an awareness from the composition and properties of the solid-glass electrolytes that contributed to a fresh version of the electrolytes that may be now patented throughout the UT Austin Office of Technology Commercialization.
The engineers’ glass electrolytes permit them to plate and strip alkali metals for both the cathode along with the anode side without dendrites, which simplifies battery cell fabrication.
An additional advantage is that the battery cells can be made from earth-friendly materials.
“The glass electrolytes permit the substitution of low-cost sodium for lithium. Sodium is obtained from seawater that is certainly widely available,” Braga said.
Goodenough and Braga are continuing to succeed their 18500 battery and therefore are working on several patents. For the short term, they hope to use battery makers to formulate and test their new materials in electric vehicles as well as storage devices.