Skip to main content

Hybrid Electrolyte Fills Battery Gap

Hybrid Electrolyte Fills Battery Gap

December 30, 2015 | by Stephen Luntz
photo credit: Electric cars are only the most prominent of the many technologies that depend on advances in battery technology. otomobil/Shutterstock
In the quest to build batteries that will store electricity at prices we can afford, neither polymer nor ceramic electrolytes are proving satisfactory. A new solution combining features of both might bridge the gap to the clean energy future.
Batteries require two electrodes – an anode and a cathode – and an electrolyte to carry charge between them. Producing a trio that can operate for thousands of cycles, under required conditions, at an affordable price is among the great technological challenges of our age.
Professor Nitash Balsara of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is working on the electrolyte part of the equation. Currently, most rechargeable batteries use liquid electrolytes, but these run the risk of bursting into flames and have side reactions that reduce their capacity with time.
In theory, solid electrolytes could be better, being both less flammable and less vulnerable to the products of side reactions migrating to electrodes. However, polymer versions work best at problematically high temperatures. Electrodes move as they are charged and discharged and ceramic or glass electrolytes lose contact in the process unless pressure is applied. "It needs something like 1 ton over every square centimeter [0.16 square inches], so you need a big truck sitting on the battery as it cycles," Balsara said in a statement.
In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Balsara and his coauthors reveal a hybrid that appears to resolve these problems. Its capacity to conform to the electrodes, its conductivity at room temperature, and its efficiency and stability makes it, they argue, a strong contender to be the electrolyte of the future. “Our work opens a previously unidentified route for developing compliant solid electrolytes that will address the challenges of lithium batteries,” the authors write.
The hybrid is made by attaching perfluoropolyether chains to the surface of small glass particles and adding salt. A film made from the product is stable and highly conductive at room temperature. By adjusting the ratio of polymer to glass, the authors were also able to make it bind to the electrodes without pressure.
One of the problems battery engineers face is the potential to improve one of the components, only to find what they have made is incompatible with better versions of the parts it needs to work with. However, when tested in combination with next-generation cathode candidates, the hybrid works, even at voltages where most other electrolytes fail.
Although sulfur cathodes cannot operate at the high voltages of some competitors, their low cost and high capacity inspire hope that they may play a major role in future batteries. Unlike many alternatives, the glass/polymer hybrid minimizes lithium polysulfide dissolution, making it, the authors argue, “ideally suited for lithium-sulfur cells.”
Balsara acknowledges that, so far at least, the perfect electrolyte has not been achieved, since his product is still substantially less conductive than liquid versions. Nevertheless, heclaimed: “It's probably good enough for some applications.” Moreover, he hopes that more tweaking of the sizes and concentrations of components could improve conductivity further.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

fix idm integration on chrome

Chrome Browser Integration I do not see IDM extension in Chrome extensions list. How can I install it?  How to configure IDM extension for Chrome? Please note that all IDM extensions that can be found in Google Store are fake and should not be used. You need to install IDM extension manually from IDM installation folder. Read in step 2 how to do it . 1. Please update IDM to the latest version by using  "IDM Help->Check for updates..."  menu item 2.  I don't see  "IDM Integration module"  extension in the list of extensions in  Chrome . How can I install it? Press on  Chrome  menu ( arrow 1  on the image), select  "Settings"  menu item ( arrow 2  on the image) and then select  "Extensions"  tab ( arrow 3  on the image). After this open IDM installation folder ( "C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Download Manager"  by default,  arrow 4  on the image) and drag and drop  "IDMGCExt.crx"  ( arrow 5  on the image) file int

Hidden Wiki

Welcome to The Hidden Wiki New hidden wiki url 2015 http://zqktlwi4fecvo6ri.onion Add it to bookmarks and spread it!!! Editor's picks Bored? Pick a random page from the article index and replace one of these slots with it. The Matrix - Very nice to read. How to Exit the Matrix - Learn how to Protect yourself and your rights, online and off. Verifying PGP signatures - A short and simple how-to guide. In Praise Of Hawala - Anonymous informal value transfer system. Volunteer Here are five different things that you can help us out with. Plunder other hidden service lists for links and place them here! File the SnapBBSIndex links wherever they go. Set external links to HTTPS where available, good certificate, and same content. Care to start recording onionland's history? Check out Onionland's Museum Perform Dead Services Duties. Introduction Points Ahmia.fi - Clearnet search engine for Tor Hidden Services (allows you

Explainer: The nico-teen brain

Explainer: The nico-teen brain The adolescent brain is especially vulnerable to the addictive effects of nicotine BY  TERESA SHIPLEY FELDHAUSEN   7:00AM, AUGUST 19, 2015 Nicotine (black triangle towards center left) tricks the nerve cell (neuron) into sending a message to release more dopamine (yellow dots). Those molecules enter the space (synapse) between one nerve cell and the next. When they get picked up by neighboring cells, this gives users a feel-good high. It also creates the risk of addiction and other health problems.  EMail  Print  Twitter  Facebook  Reddit  Google+ NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE, ADAPTED BY J. HIRSHFELD Nicotine is the addictive chemical in tobacco smoke and e-cigarette vapors. And doctors say the teenage brain is no place for it to end up. Nicotine can reach the brain within seven seconds of puffing on a cigar, hookah, cigarette or electronic cigarette. The area of the brain responsible f