A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor inside the Cockrell School of Engineering on the University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor in the 18650 lithium battery, has developed the initial all-solid-state battery cells that might lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld smart phones, electric cars and stationary energy storage.
Goodenough’s latest breakthrough, completed with Cockrell School senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, is really a low-cost all-solid-state battery that is noncombustible and it has an extensive cycle life (battery life) using 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 critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted. We think our discovery solves most of the issues that are inherent in today’s batteries,” Goodenough said.
They demonstrated that the new battery cells have at least 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 an increased energy density implies that an auto can drive more miles between charges. The UT Austin battery formulation also enables a larger variety of charging and discharging cycles, which equates to longer-lasting batteries, in addition to a faster rate of recharge (minutes rather than hours).
Today’s lithium-ion batteries use liquid electrolytes to transport the lithium ions involving the anode (the negative side from the battery) and also the cathode (the positive side in the battery). If lithium battery storage is charged too quickly, there may be dendrites or “metal whiskers” to create and cross through the liquid electrolytes, resulting in a short circuit that can result in explosions and fires. Rather than liquid electrolytes, the researchers depend upon glass electrolytes which allow 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 – raises 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, for the reason that solid-glass electrolytes can operate, or have high conductivity, at -20 degrees Celsius, this sort of battery in a car could work well in subzero degree weather. This dexkpky82 the 1st all-solid-state battery cell that will 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 stated that Goodenough brought a knowledge in the composition and properties in the solid-glass electrolytes that resulted in a brand new version in the electrolytes that may be now patented from the UT Austin Office of Technology Commercialization.
The engineers’ glass electrolytes let them plate and strip alkali metals on both the cathode and the anode side without dendrites, which simplifies battery cell fabrication.
Another advantage would be 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 taken from seawater that is certainly widely accessible,” Braga said.
Goodenough and Braga are continuing to advance their 18650 battery pack and therefore are focusing on several patents. For the short term, they hope to work with battery makers to formulate and test their new materials in electric vehicles as well as storage devices.