Lithium-ion battery inventor introduces new technology for fast-charging, noncombustible batteries – Is it “Goodenough?”


goodenough-1-lithiumionbaJohn Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, in the battery materials lab he oversees. Credit: Cockrell School of Engineering

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 lithium-ion battery, has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells that could 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 a low-cost all-solid-state that is noncombustible and has a long cycle life (battery life) with a high volumetric and fast rates of charge and discharge. The engineers describe their new technology in a recent paper published in 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 believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries,” Goodenough said.

li_battery_principleThe Basics of the Lithium Ion Battery Principle

Today’s lithium-ion batteries use liquid electrolytes to transport the lithium ions between the anode (the negative side of the battery) and the cathode (the positive side of the battery). If a battery cell is charged too quickly, it can cause dendrites or “metal whiskers” to form and cross through the liquid electrolytes, causing a short circuit that can lead to explosions and fires. Instead of liquid electrolytes, the researchers rely on glass electrolytes that enable the use of an alkali-metal anode without the formation of dendrites.

The researchers demonstrated that their new have at least three times as much energy density as today’s lithium-ion batteries. A battery cell’s energy density gives an electric vehicle its driving range, so a higher energy density means that a car can drive more miles between charges. The UT Austin battery formulation also allows for a greater number of charging and discharging cycles, which equates to longer-lasting batteries, as well as a faster rate of recharge (minutes rather than hours).

The use of an alkali-metal anode (lithium, sodium or potassium)—which isn’t possible with conventional batteries—increases the energy density of a cathode and delivers a long cycle life. In experiments, the researchers’ cells have demonstrated more than 1,200 cycles with low cell resistance.

Additionally, because the solid-glass electrolytes can operate, or have high conductivity, at -20 degrees Celsius, this type of battery in a car could perform well in subzero degree weather. This is the first all-solid-state battery cell that can operate under 60 degree Celsius.

Braga began developing solid-glass electrolytes with colleagues while she was at the University of Porto in Portugal. About two years ago, she began collaborating with Goodenough and researcher Andrew J. Murchison at UT Austin. Braga said that Goodenough brought an understanding of the composition and properties of the solid-glass electrolytes that resulted in a new version of the electrolytes that is now patented through the UT Austin Office of Technology Commercialization.

The engineers’ glass electrolytes allow them to plate and strip alkali metals on both the cathode and the anode side without dendrites, which simplifies battery cell fabrication.

Another advantage is that the battery cells can be made from earth-friendly materials.

“The glass allow for the substitution of low-cost sodium for lithium. Sodium is extracted from seawater that is widely available,” Braga said.

Goodenough and Braga are continuing to advance their battery-related research and are working on several patents. In the short term, they hope to work with battery makers to develop and test their new materials in electric vehicles and energy storage devices.

 

Explore further: Cathode material with high energy density for all-solid lithium-ion batteries

Provided by University of Texas at Austin

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Reducing Energy Costs with Better Batteries


3adb215 D BurrisA better battery—one that is cheap and safe, but packs a lot of power—could lead to an electric vehicle that performs better than today’s gasoline-powered cars, and costs about the same or less to consumers.  Such a vehicle would reduce the United States’ reliance on foreign oil and lower energy costs for the average American, so one of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) goals is to fund research that will revolutionize the performance of next-generation batteries.

In honor of DOE’s supercomputing month, we are highlighting some of the ways researchers are using supercomputers at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) are working to achieve this goal.

New Anode Boots Capacity of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere— in smart phones, laptops, an array of other consumer electronics, and electric vehicles. Good as they are, they could be much better, especially when it comes to lowering the cost and extending the range of electric cars. To do that, batteries need to store a lot more energy.

Using supercomputers at NERSC, Berkeley Lab researchers developed a new kind of anode—energy storing component—that is capable of absorbing eight times the lithium of current designs. The secret is a tailored polymer that conducts electricity and binds closely to lithium storing particles. The researchers achieved this result by running supercomputer calculations of different promising polymers until they found the perfect one. This research is an important step toward developing lithium-ion batteries with eight times their current capacity.

After more than a year of testing and many hundreds of charge-discharge cycles, Berkeley researchers found that their anode maintained its increased energy capacity.  This is a significant improvement from many lithium-ion batteries on the market today, which degrade as they recharge. Best of all, the anodes are made from low-cost materials that are also compatible with standard lithium battery manufacturing technologies.

Read More: https://www.nersc.gov/news-publications/news/science-news/2011/a-better-lithium-ion-battery-on-the-way/

Engineering Better Energy Storage

One of the biggest weaknesses of today’s electric vehicles is battery life—most cars can only go about 100-200 miles between charges. But researchers hope that a new type of battery, called the lithium-air battery, will one day lead to a cost-effective, long-range electric vehicles that could travel 300 miles or more between charges.

Using supercomputers at NERSC and powerful microscopes, a team of researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Princeton University built a novel graphene membrane that could produce a lithium-air battery with the highest-energy capacity to date. Because the material does not rely on platinum or other precious metals, its potential cost and environmental impact are significantly less than current technology.

Read More: https://www.nersc.gov/news-publications/news/science-news/2012/bubbles-help-break-energy-storage-record-for-lithium-air-batteries/

Promise for Onion-Like Carbons as Supercapacitors

The two most important electrical storage technologies on the market today are batteries and capacitors—both have their pluses and minuses. Batteries can store a lot of energy, but have slow charge and discharge rates. While capacitors generally store less energy but have very fast (nearly instant) charge and discharge rates, and last longer than rechargeable batteries. Developing technologies that combine the optimal characteristics of both will require a detailed understanding of how these devices work at the molecular level. That’s where supercomputers come in handy.

One promising electrical storage device is the supercapacitator, which combines the fast charging and discharging rates of conventional capacitators, as well as the high-power density, high-capacitance (ability to store electrical charge), and durability of a battery. Today supercapacitators power electric vehicles, portable electronic equipment and various other devices. Despite their use in the marketplace, researchers believe these energy storage devices could perform much better. One area that they are hoping to improve is the device’s electrode, or a conductor through which electricity enters or leaves.

Most supercapacitor electrodes are made of carbon-based materials, but one promising material yet to be explored is graphene. The strongest material known, graphene also has unique electrical, thermal, mechanical and chemical properties. Using supercomputers at NERSC, scientists ran simulations to understand how the shape of a graphene electrode affects its electrical properties. They hope that one-day this work will inspire the design of supercapacitators that can hold a much more stable electric charge.

Read More: http://www.nersc.gov/news-publications/news/science-news/2012/why-onion-like-carbons-make-high-energy-supercapacitors/

A Systematic Approach to Battery Design

New materials are crucial for building advanced batteries, but today the development cycle is too slow. It takes about 15 to 18 years to go from conception to commercialization. To speed up this process, a team of researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created a new computational tool called the Materials Project, which is hosted at NERSC.

The Materials Project uses supercomputers at NERSC, Berkeley Lab and the University of Kentucky to characterize the properties of inorganic compounds—such as stability, voltage, capacity and oxidation state—via computer simulations. The results are then organized into a database with a user-friendly web interface that allows users to easily access and search for the compound that they would like to use in their new material design. Knowing the properties of a compound beforehand allows researchers to quickly assess whether their idea will be successful, without spending money and time developing prototypes and experiments that will eventually lead to a dead-end.

In early 2013, DOE pledged $120 million over five years to establish the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR). As part of this initiative, the Berkeley Lab and MIT researchers will run simulations at NERSC to predict the properties of electrolytes—a liquid. The results will be incorporated into a database similar to the Materials Project. Eventually researchers will be able to combine the JCESR database with the Materials Project to get a complete scope of battery components. Together, these resources allow scientists to employ a systematic and predictive approach to battery design.

Read More: https://www.nersc.gov/news-publications/news/science-news/2012/nersc-helps-develop-next-gen-batteries/

For more information about how Berkeley Lab is celebrating DOE supercomputing month, please visit: http://cs.lbl.gov/news-media/news/2013/supercomputing-sept-2013/


About Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing  Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources  and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy’s research  missions: developing new energy  sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and  increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe. ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research  Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 5,500 scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD  conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and  simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis,  computer system architecture and high-performance software  implementation.

Charge Your Cell Phone In 5 Seconds


Mega UploadsPublished on Feb 27, 2013

Supercapacitors: They’ll enable you to charge your cell phone in 5 seconds, or an electric car in about a minute. They’re cheap, biodegradable, never wear out and as Trace’ll tell you, could be powering your life sooner than you’d think.

 

Read More: “See The Scientific Accident That May Change The World (Or At Least Your Battery Life)”
http://www.upworthy.com/see-the-scien…

Revolutionary Improvement Increases Lithium Ion Battery Capacity by 300%


English: Nokia BL-5C lithium-ion battery from ...

English: Nokia BL-5C lithium-ion battery from a Nokia 1661 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tue, 30 October 2012 23:43

California Lithium Battery (CLB), a finalist in Department of Energy’s 2012 Start Up America’s Next Top Energy Innovator challenge, has announced the record-setting performance of its new lithium ion battery anode.

Called the “GEN3” the anode is a silicon graphene composite material engineered with Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) over the past eight months.  Independent test results in full cell lithium ion batteries indicate the new GEN3 anode material, used with advanced cathode and electrolyte materials, increases energy density by a stunning 3 times and specific anode capacity by an astonishing 4 times over existing lithium ion batteries.

The new performance level comes from a new lithium battery anode material for use with advanced cathode and electrolyte materials.  The press release performance characteristic quotes are an energy density of 525WH/Kg and specific anode capacity of 1,250mAh/g.

The performance quotes compare to today’s common commercial offerings at a density of between 100-180WH/kg and a specific anode capacity of 325mAh/g.

An understandably pumped CLB CEO, Phil Roberts, said, “This equates to more than a 300% improvement in lithium ion battery capacity and an estimated 70% reduction in lifetime cost for batteries used in consumer electronics, EVs, and grid-scale energy storage.”  Taken as quoted, this would be a massive shift in electrical storage costs for the better.

The CLB business model is underway fast-tracking the commercialization of its GEN3 breakthrough battery anode material. Over the next two years the firm plans to produce and sell its silicon-graphene anode material to global battery and electric vehicle manufacturers and start U.S. based production of a limited quantity of specialized batteries for high-end applications.

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Roberts expounds with, “We believe that our new advanced silicon graphene anode composite material is so good in terms of specific capacity and extended cycle life that it will become a graphite anode ‘drop-in’ replacement material for anodes in most lithium ion batteries over the next 2-3 years.”

If that proves true – a revolution is at hand.

CLB thinks its transformational technology will change the way lithium ion battery power is produced, managed, and stored, especially if it can lead to lithium ion batteries being produced for under $175/kWh.  The firm believes that could directly compete with the cost of energy from fossil fueled power generation.  These two ideas will be exciting tests over time.

Silicon Graphene Composite
ANL’s Silicon Graphene Composite Graphic. Click image for the largest view. Image credit: Argonne National Laboratory.

Technically speaking the new GEN3 battery material’s foundation is the use of the breakthrough ANL silicon graphene process that stabilizes the use of silicon in a lithium battery anode. Although silicon absorbs lithium ten times better than any other anode materials it rapidly deteriorates during charge/discharge cycles. CLB has worked at ANL and other facilities over the past year to develop this new anode material to work in a full lithium ion battery cell with multiple cathode and electrolyte materials.  It seems the research will take about a third of the silicon potential to commercialization now.

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The superior results of the development program at ANL leads CLB to believe that this advanced anode material could eventually replace conventional graphite based anode materials used in most lithium ion batteries manufactured today. This new composite anode material is suitable for use in combination with a variety of existing and new lithium ion batteries cathode and electrolyte materials that will help dramatically improve overall battery performance and lower the lithium ion batteries cycle cost.

The firm’s press release asserts the cost cycle will effectively store electricity at a cost competitive with energy produced from fossil fuels.  Its implied pretty clearly within the context of the press release that competition to gasoline for internal combustion engines is just what the company means.

On the business front the interest is in the success of CLB, a joint venture between California-based CALiB Power and Ionex Energy Storage Systems, as a portfolio start-up company headquartered at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator that was started by The City of Los Angeles and the LA Department of Water and Power in just the last year.  CLB naturally plans to set up silicon graphene anode material and lithium ion battery manufacturing operations in the Los Angeles area.  How the manufacturing plan proceeds will be based on interest in its advanced Li-ion battery material from U.S. and international customers.

If it all works out we should be seeing GEN3 battery offerings pretty soon.  One hopes so, if only to cut costs and reduce weights of the personal electronics.  It will take a while longer to crack the electric vehicle market – but the cost projections are very enticing.

By. Brian Westenhaus

Source: The Lithium Ion Battery May Be Having a Revolution