Nav: Home

Next-gen batteries possible with new engineering approach

November 14, 2018

Dramatically longer-lasting, faster-charging and safer lithium metal batteries may be possible, according to Penn State research, recently published in Nature Energy.

The researchers developed a three-dimensional, cross-linked polymer sponge that attaches to the metal plating of a battery anode.

"This project aims to develop the next generation of metal batteries," said Donghai Wang, professor of mechanical engineering and the principal investigator of the project. "Lithium metal has been tried in batteries for decades, but there are some fundamental issues that inhibit their advancement."

Under additional strain, like in the fast-charging methods desired in electrical vehicles, lithium ion (Li) batteries are vulnerable to dendritic growth -- needle-like formations that can reduce cycle life and potentially cause safety issues -- including fires or explosions.

"Our approach was to use a polymer on the interface of Li metal," Wang explained. The material acts as a porous sponge that not only promotes ion transfer, but also inhibits deterioration.

"This allowed the metal plating to be free of dendrites, even at low temperatures and fast charge conditions," he said.

Wang, who is an affiliated faculty member at the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, also belongs to the Battery Energy and Storage Technology Center, a leading research institute in energy storage.

A critical component of both IEE and the BEST Center's mission, this project brought together researchers from different disciplines within the University.

"The collaboration in this cohort really helped drive this paper forward," Wang explained. "It allowed us to examine the different aspects of this problem, from materials science, chemical engineering, chemistry, and mechanical engineering perspectives."

In this collaborative work, Long-Qing Chen's group in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering conducted modeling work to understand the improvement of Li metal anodes.

The practical applications of this work could enable more powerful and stable metal battery technologies integral to everyday life, according to the researchers.

"In an electric vehicle, it could increase the range of a drive before needing a charge by hundreds of miles," said Wang. "It could also give smartphones a longer battery life."

Looking to the future, the team will explore the practical applications in a large-format battery cell to demonstrate its advantages and feasibility.

Wang said, "We want to push these technologies forward. With this work, I'm positive we can double the life cycle of these Li metal batteries."
-end-
Penn State researchers Guoxing Li and Qingquan Huang, postdoctoral fellows in mechanical engineering; Zhe Liu, graduate student in materials science and engineering; Yue Gao, graduate student in chemistry; Michael Regula, graduate student in chemical engineering; and Daiwei Wang graduate student in mechanical engineering, also contributed to the project.

The U.S Department of Energy funded this research.

EDITORS: Dr. Wang may be reached at 814-863-1287 or at dwang@psu.edu">dwang@psu.edu

Penn State

Related Batteries Articles:

New NiMH batteries perform better when made from recycled old NiMH batteries
A new method for recycling old batteries can provide better performing and cheaper rechargeable hydride batteries (NiMH) as shown in a new study by researchers at Stockholm University.
Seeing 'under the hood' in batteries
A high-sensitivity X-ray technique at Berkeley Lab is attracting a growing group of scientists because it provides a deep, precise dive into battery chemistry.
Better, safer batteries
For the first time, researchers who explore the physical and chemical properties of electrical energy storage have found a new way to improve lithium-ion batteries.
New catalyst provides boost to next-generation EV batteries
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has introduced a new composite catalyst that could efficiently enhance the charg-discharge performances when applied to metal-air batteries (MABs).
New lithium batteries from used cell phones
Research from the University of Cordoba (Spain) and San Luis University (Argentina) was able to reuse graphite from cell phones to manufacture environmentally friendly batteries.
Safe potassium-ion batteries
Australian scientists have developed a nonflammable electrolyte for potassium and potassium-ion batteries, for applications in next-generation energy-storage systems beyond lithium technology.
Will the future's super batteries be made of seawater?
The race is on to develop even more efficient and rechargable batteries for the future.
Less may be more in next-gen batteries
Rice University engineers build full lithium-ion batteries with silicon anodes and an alumina layer to protect cathodes from degrading.
Not so fast: Some batteries can be pushed too far
Fast charge and discharge of some lithium-ion batteries with intentional defects degrades their performance and endurance, according to Rice University engineers.
Interfacial chemistry improves rechargeability of Zn batteries
Prof. CUI Guanglei's group from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has proposed new concepts concerning in situ formed and artificial SEIs as a means of fundamentally modulating the electrochemical characteristics of Zn.
More Batteries News and Batteries Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Meditations on Loneliness
Original broadcast date: April 24, 2020. We're a social species now living in isolation. But loneliness was a problem well before this era of social distancing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we can live and make peace with loneliness. Guests on the show include author and illustrator Jonny Sun, psychologist Susan Pinker, architect Grace Kim, and writer Suleika Jaouad.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#565 The Great Wide Indoors
We're all spending a bit more time indoors this summer than we probably figured. But did you ever stop to think about why the places we live and work as designed the way they are? And how they could be designed better? We're talking with Emily Anthes about her new book "The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of how Buildings Shape our Behavior, Health and Happiness".
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Third. A TED Talk.
Jad gives a TED talk about his life as a journalist and how Radiolab has evolved over the years. Here's how TED described it:How do you end a story? Host of Radiolab Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.Jad Nicholas Abumrad is a Lebanese-American radio host, composer and producer. He is the founder of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab, which is broadcast on over 600 radio stations nationwide and is downloaded more than 120 million times a year as a podcast. He also created More Perfect, a podcast that tells the stories behind the Supreme Court's most famous decisions. And most recently, Dolly Parton's America, a nine-episode podcast exploring the life and times of the iconic country music star. Abumrad has received three Peabody Awards and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011.