New Lithium-Ion Battery Uses Peroxide To Boost Energy Density By 7 Times: Report
Chevrolet Spark EV at CCS fast charging station in San Diego.
Finding ways of improving that chemistry is therefore very important–the aim being to make future electric car batteries cheaper, more stable and more energy-dense for longer range.
Researchers from the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo have found a way to develop a lithium-based battery with seven times the energy density of current lithium-ion batteries, according to Nikkei Technology.
This has, at least theoretically, each of the major benefits you’d expect should it be introduced in production form–lower cost, greater capacity and increased safety.
Led by Professor Noritaka Mizuno, the team have used a new material on the positive electrode in the battery, formed by adding cobalt to the lithium oxide crystal structure. This aids an oxidation-reduction reaction during which peroxides are produced, and electrical energy is generated.
The researchers claim energy density of 2,570 watt-hours per kilogram. That’s actually a little less than the theoretical density of lithium-air technology (3,460 Wh/kg, and a current leader in lithium battery developments) but as a sealed design it’s more stable (and therefore safer) than lithium-air.
The team also proved that there are no unwanted byproducts in the battery’s acceptable charging and discharging cycle–no excess oxygen or carbon dioxide is produced during the reactions.
While the team mentions no apparent drawbacks, such a concept would require more thorough testing before it’s applied inn the real world. As ever though, it’s evidence that battery technology is still progressing behind the scenes–and that one day, electric should be able to travel much further on a charge.