11 Jan
Battery Prototype Can Store 300% the Energy of Lithium-Ions Battery Prototype Can Store 300% the Energy of Lithium-Ions

Battery Prototype Can Store 300% the Energy of Lithium-Ions

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Scientists from Rice University have come up with a rechargeable lithium metal battery that is said to contain three times the capacity of presently available lithium-ion cells -- all by conquering a problem that has vexed researchers for many years: the dendrite issue.

Dendrites are lithium deposits that take up more and more of a battery's electrolyte. They can accumulate to a point of short-circuiting, which makes a battery fail or possibly explode.

The Rice researchers, headed by James Tour, a chemist, discovered that when their batteries are charged, lithium metal uniformly coats the carbon hybrid area where nanotubes are fused to the surface of graphene. The hybrid in the Rice-made battery takes the place of a graphite anode in typical lithium-ion batteries, which are designed to sacrifice capacity for the sake of safety.

Tour, in a press release, said, “Lithium-ion batteries have changed the world, no doubt, but they’re about as good as they’re going to get. Your cellphone’s battery won’t last any longer until new technology comes along.”

Tour added that the new battery can accommodate lots of lithium particles as the battery charges and then discharges. The lithium is described as being "evenly distributed", which helps to spread the current that the ions carry as well as to suppress dendrite growth.

Researchers began to sense a pivotal moment in their discoveries about four years ago, when team member Abdul-Rahman Raji starting toying with lithium metal and the graphene-nanotube hybrid.

“We were excited because the voltage profile of the full cell was very flat," Raji explained. "At that moment, we knew we had found something special. We were stunned to find no dendrites grown, and the rest is history".

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Read 1010 times Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 03:02
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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