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China R&D hints at better and cheaper solid-state cells using new electrolyte

Thu, 08/26/2021 - 11:56 -- Paul Crompton
USTC campus

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) have designed a material to make solid-state lithium-ion batteries cheaper and more effective.

The team identified different types of solid electrolytes, but found chloride solid electrolytes exhibited the desirable characteristics of both sulfide and oxide systems, including high ionic conductivity, deformability and oxidative stability.

The team designed and synthesised the material, Li2ZrCl6 (LZC), which boasts low materials cost and excellent humidity tolerance— challenges that have hindered the mass production of solid electrolytes.

An article outlining the research was published in the science journal Nature Communications. 

The raw material cost of LZC at 50μm thickness is $1.38/m2, compared to the cheapest chloride system in the literature ($23.05/m2), and below the $10/mthreshold for ensuring the cost competitiveness of all-solid-state batteries, said the researchers. 

Furthermore, LZC is stable in an atmosphere with 5% relative humidity, so the strict requirements for atmosphere during synthesis and storage, like those for sulfide solid electrolytes, are no longer needed.

LZC possesses high ionic conductivity (0.81 mS cm-1) and is compatible with 4V-class cathodes. 

A cell with a LiNi0.8Mn0.1Co0.1O2 cathode and a LZC solid electrolyte delivered a stable specific capacity of about 150mAh g-1 after 200 cycles at 200 mA g-1 without considerable fade, said the researchers.

More importantly, the above advantages in mass production have been achieved without sacrificing any of the attractive characteristics of chloride solid electrolytes, said professor Ma Zhiming.

Zhiming said: "All-solid-state Li batteries play an important role in achieving the goal of 'peak carbon dioxide emissions' and 'carbon neutrality'.

"The achievement of both cost-effectiveness and high performance of Li2ZrCl6 removes a major obstacle to the commercialization of such batteries."

The team will now try other 4+ cations, denoted as M, to synthesize Li2MCl6 solid electrolytes, and strive to make both better and more affordable all-solid-state batteries.

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German researchers to develop realistic test procedures to make safer lithium-ion batteries

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 11:58 -- Paul Crompton

German public research university The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is working to develop standards that provide more security and flexibility when designing lithium-ion batteries.

In its research project, KIT will work alongside testing and standardisation institutes as well as industry partners to develop safety tests for lithium-ion cells under real conditions. 

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Swiss researchers examine solid-state battery secrets

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 13:20 -- John Shepherd
Swiss researchers examine solid-state battery secrets

Swiss researchers have lifted the lid on electromechanical processes that take place in solid-state batteries in a move they say could make the technology safer and more efficient for use in electric vehicles.

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) used X-ray tomography to observe the batteries “more precisely than ever before” and discovered how fissures in the battery material propagate.

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VW and Northvolt in driving seat for new battery research group

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 13:22 -- John Shepherd
VW and Northvolt in driving seat for new battery research group

Volkswagen has formed a European batteries research consortium with Swedish lithium-ion start-up Northvolt.

The German carmaker said the newly-formed European Battery Union (EBU) would work with research and industry partners in seven European Union member states to cover “the entire battery value stream – from raw materials through cell technology to recycling”.

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KULR to supply Saft with battery safety testing devices

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 12:41 -- Hugh Finzel
KULR to supply Saft with battery safety testing devices

KULR Technology will supply French battery maker Saft with innovative ‘internal short circuit’ (ISC) battery-testing devices to aid ongoing research into safety and the prevention of battery fires.

The ISCs, which replicate latent defects in batteries that can be some of the most common, serious, and hardest cell failures to detect, will be delivered early in the second quarter of 2019.

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ALABC joins Argonne Lab for next-gen lead batteries study

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Lead-acid battery technology is to undergo a “high-tech makeover” under a research agreement between members of the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) and the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.

Fourteen ALABC members have signed up for the science programme, which Argonne said would focus the lab’s “resources and expertise on improving the performance of lead batteries, to assist the industry in meeting market demands for existing applications and for new applications”.

The nine full members of the programme include Crown Battery Manufacturing Company, Doe Run Resources Corporation, East Penn Manufacturing Company, EnerSys, Exide Technologies, Johnson Controls, NorthStar Battery Company, RSR Technologies and the Trojan Battery Company. The five associate members are Superior Graphite, Microporous, Cabot Corporation, Borregard Lignotech and Advanced Battery Concepts.

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US backs studies of ‘breakthrough electrolytes’

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 09:33 -- Xuan Zhong
US backs studies of ‘breakthrough electrolytes’

Energy chiefs in the US are backing the launch of an ‘Energy Frontier Research Center’ (EFRC) as part of research into “breakthrough electrolytes for energy storage”.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $10.75 million to set up the EFRC at Case Western Reserve University.

 

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US lab team ‘develops new compound for redox flow batteries’

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 09:13 -- Xuan Zhong
US lab team ‘develops new compound for redox flow batteries’

Research published by scientists in the US indicates an organic molecule used in dyes and antibiotics “may be the key to less expensive, more efficient redox flow batteries”.

The scientists at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) team have developed a “highly reversible, water soluble material based on phenazine”— that could serve as an alternative to vanadium used in grid-scale batteries.

 

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Wales to host ‘large-scale battery research lab’

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 09:11 -- John Shepherd
Wales to host ‘large-scale battery research lab’

A “large-scale battery” research lab is being set up in Wales with the backing of key industry players.

The University of South Wales has been awarded GBP995,000 ($1.3 million) to invest in the project at its Power Systems Laboratory in Treforest.

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German research to ‘safeguard future’ of lead-acid

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 08:57 -- John Shepherd
German research to ‘safeguard future’ of lead-acid

The German government is backing research in the country designed to help “safeguard the future of lead-acid batteries”.

Goals of the AddESun project include helping the lead industry to achieve “more sustainable production, improved charging behaviour, longer service life and higher power density”.

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