Researchers have been able to triple the capacity and extend the service life of a lithium ion battery after synthesising a new material for anodes.
Lithium ion batteries are pretty much everywhere. They are used to power your smartphones, laptops, electric cars and a wide range of other appliances. However, the technology is not particularly advanced and falls short in terms of capacity and service life. It is also one of the primary barriers to the roll-out of renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines. How do we power our homes when the sun goes down and when the wind stops blowing? The answer, quite simply, is to improve the capacity of the lithium ion battery that’s storing the excess power that the solar panel generates during the day.
Tesla owner, Elon Musk, constructed his famous Gigafactory for this very reason. Lithium ion batteries are the key to our sustainable future.
Now, as reported by TechXplore, scientists from the National University of Science and Technology “MISIS” (NUST MISIS) in Moscow, who were part of an international team of researchers who have synthesised a new nanomaterial that can replace low-efficiency graphite used in lithium-ion batteries today.
“Porous nanostructured microspheres with the composition Cu0.4Zn0.6Fe2O4, that we have extracted, used as anode material provide three times higher capacity than the batteries existing on market. Besides, it allows for an increase in the number of charge-discharge cycles by 5 times compared to other promising alternatives to graphite. This improvement is achieved due to a synergistic effect with a combination of a special nanostructure and the composition of used elements,” Evgeny Kolesnikov, an assistant at the Department of Functional Nanosystems and High-Temperature Materials, NUST MISIS said.
With the scope of lithium ion batteries expanding all the time, the properties of the graphite has been severely limiting progress, according to scientists. The charge-discharge cycle in a lithium ion battery is provided by the movement of lithium ions between two electrodes—from a negatively charged anode to a positively charged cathode.
The scientists from NUST MISIS managed to obtain a new material for anodes that can provide a significant increase in capacity and extend battery service life through a one-step process that you can learn about in the full paper “Hollow-structured Cu0.4Zn0.6Fe2O4 as a novel negative electrode material for high-performance lithium-ion batteries” published in ScienceDirect.
This is a significant step forward in the battle against climate change and will be a real gamechanger in our pursuit of carbon neutrality.