A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor within the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the 18650 lithium battery, has developed the initial all-solid-state battery cells that could lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld cellular devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage.
Goodenough’s latest breakthrough, completed with Cockrell School senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, can be a low-cost all-solid-state battery that may be noncombustible and contains an extensive cycle life (battery) using a high volumetric energy density and fast rates of charge and discharge. The engineers describe their new technology within a recent paper published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.
“Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are crucial for battery-driven cars to get more widely adopted. We feel our discovery solves a lot of the conditions that are inherent in today’s batteries,” Goodenough said.
They demonstrated that their new battery cells have at the very least three times just as much energy density as today’s lithium-ion batteries. Battery power cell’s energy density gives an electric powered vehicle its driving range, so a higher energy density means that an auto can drive more miles between charges. The UT Austin battery formulation also provides for a greater number of charging and discharging cycles, which equates to longer-lasting batteries, together with a faster rate of recharge (minutes as an alternative to hours).
Today’s lithium-ion batteries use liquid electrolytes to transport the lithium ions between the anode (the negative side in the battery) along with the cathode (the positive side in the battery). If energy battery is charged too rapidly, you can get dendrites or “metal whiskers” to create and cross through the liquid electrolytes, creating a short circuit that can lead to explosions and fires. As an alternative to liquid electrolytes, the researchers rely on glass electrolytes that enable using an alkali-metal anode without having the formation of dendrites.
The usage of an alkali-metal anode (lithium, sodium or potassium) – which isn’t possible with conventional batteries – increases the energy density of your cathode and offers a long cycle life. In experiments, the researchers’ cells have demonstrated over 1,200 cycles with low cell resistance.
Additionally, as the solid-glass electrolytes can operate, or have high conductivity, at -20 degrees Celsius, this particular battery in the vehicle could perform well in subzero degree weather. This dexkpky82 the very first all-solid-state battery cell that can 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 mentioned that Goodenough brought an awareness from the composition and properties in the solid-glass electrolytes that led to a new version from the electrolytes that is now patented with the UT Austin Office of Technology Commercialization.
The engineers’ glass electrolytes permit them to plate and strip alkali metals on both the cathode and also the anode side without dendrites, which simplifies battery cell fabrication.
An additional advantage is the fact that battery cells can be created from earth-friendly materials.
“The glass electrolytes permit the substitution of low-cost sodium for lithium. Sodium is extracted from seawater which is accessible,” Braga said.
Goodenough and Braga are continuing to advance their 18500 battery and therefore are concentrating on several patents. In the short term, they hope to use battery makers to produce and test their new materials in electric vehicles and energy storage devices.