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SAFER, TOUGHER, AND MORE POWERFUL LITHUM ION BATTERY

- May 22, 2018 -

Lithium ion batteries are a big advancement from lead acid batteries. Their low weight, high energy density and slower loss of charge when not in use, Lithium ion batteries have become the preferred choice for consumer electronics.


Despite being a superior consumer battery, Lithium Ion Batteries still have some drawbacks. Current manufacturing technology is reaching the theoretical energy density limit for lithium ion batteries and overheating leading to thermal runaway is a serious concern.


Researchers have created a new Lithium ion battery made from a porous solid which greatly improves its performance as well as reducing the risks due to overheating.


The team tried a totally new approach in making the batteries, they have already investigated high and highly anisotropic proton conducting behaviors in porous CB for fuel cell electrolytes. It is possible for this lithium ion conduction following porous CB to be safer than existing solid lithium electrolyte -based organic-molecular porous-materials utilizing the simple soaking method.


The new battery is built from pumpkin-shaped molecules called cucurbit which are organized in a honeycomb-like structure. The physical structure of the porous CB enables the lithium ions in the battery to diffuse more freely than in conventional lithium ion battery and exist without the separators found in other batteries.


In tests made, the porous CB solid electrolytes showed impressive lithium ion conductivity. To compare this to existing battery electrolytes, the team of scientists used a measurement of the lithium transference number which was recorded at 0.7-0.8 compared to 0.2-0.5 of existing electrolytes. They also subjected the batteries to extreme temperatures of up to 373 K (99.85° C), well above the 80° C typical upper temperature window for exiting lithium ion batteries. In the tests, the batteries were cycled at temperatures between 298 K and 373 K ( 24.85° C and 99.85° C) for a duration of four days and after each cycle the results showed no thermal runaway and hardly any change in conductivity.


Various conventional liquid electrolytes can incorporate in a porous CB framework and converted to safer solid lithium electrolytes. Additionally, electrolyte usage is not limited to use only in LIBs, but a lithium air battery potentially feasible. What makes this new technique most exciting is that it is a new method of preparing a solid lithium electrolyte which starts as a liquid but no post-synthetic modification or chemical treatment is needed.