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Graphene boosted aluminium-ion cell show lithium-ion battery beating potential

Fri, 06/18/2021 - 12:25 -- Paul Crompton
Graphene boosted aluminium-ion cell show lithium-ion battery beating potential

Initial tests on aluminium-ion coin cells can out perform lithium-ion, according to Australia’s Graphene Manufacturing Group and the University of Queensland.  

Performance tests were conducted on 1.7 volt coin cells using Graphene Manufacturing Group’s (GMG) patent-pending surface perforation of graphene. 

The tests were performed at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at University of Queensland (UQ). 

Results showed the cells reached 150-160Wh/kg and up to 7,000W/kg with the ability to charge an average phone battery in less than five minutes.

GMG aims to deliver commercial coin-cell prototypes for customer testing in six months and a commercial pouch-pack prototype—for consumer applications— for customer testing in 18 months. 

The technology works by making atomic size holes in the graphene, which allows the aluminium ions to penetrate and be held in the graphene to make a higher energy density.

The graphene is then placed on the battery’s cathode, while the anode is plain aluminium foil.

Dr Ashok Nanjundan (pictured, left), GMG’s chief scientific officer, said: “This is a real game-changing technology which can offer a real alternative with an interchangeable battery technology for the existing lithium-ion batteries in almost every application with GMG’s graphene and UQ’s patent-pending aluminium ion battery technology. 

“The current nominal voltage of our batteries is 1.7 volts, and work is being carried out to increase the voltage to directly replace existing batteries and which lead to higher energy densities.

“Furthermore, graphene aluminium-ion batteries provide major benefits in terms of longer battery life (over 2000 charge/discharge cycles testing so far with no deterioration in performance), battery safety (very low fire potential) and lower environmental impact (more recyclable).” 

In April, GMG and UQ signed a research agreement with AIBN to develop graphene aluminium-ion batteries.

Under the agreement, GMG will manufacture commercial battery prototypes for watches, phones, laptops, electric vehicles and grid storage with technology developed at the University of Queensland.

GMG has also signed a license agreement with Uniquest, the University of Queensland commercialisation company, for an exclusive license of the technology for battery cathodes.      

GMG’s CEO and managing director, Craig Nicol said the goal was to build a viable graphene and coin cell battery production facility in Australia. 

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