Engineers develop a lithium battery with better electrodes that charges in less than five minutes, revolutionizing the speed of charging batteries, particularly for electric vehicles.
Engineers have developed a new lithium battery with better electrodes that could significantly change charging speed. Their new battery recharges in less than five minutes, faster than any other battery currently available on the market, especially when it comes to electric vehicle batteries.
The researchers examined a system that had an asymmetry between charging and discharging. They needed it to charge very quickly while discharging very slowly. They looked at the rate of chemical reaction versus the rate of movement of certain chemicals to reach the reaction site.
They found that indium was an interesting metal to use in batteries. It moves quite fast but has slow surface reaction kinetics, so it can be loaded quite quickly and discharged slowly. An excellent candidate.
“Our goal was to create battery electrode designs that charge and discharge consistently with your daily routine,” said lead author Shuo Jin, of Cornell University, in a declaration. “In practical terms, we want our electronic devices to charge quickly and run for extended periods. To achieve this, we have identified a unique indium anode material that can be effectively combined with various cathode materials to create a battery that charges quickly and discharges slowly.”
The drums are exciting, but not perfect. Indium is quite heavy, so this would affect where and how such batteries can be used. However, researchers believe there may be alloys with advantageous properties similar to indium but without the disadvantages, and these could be the batteries of the future.
The development of such a battery would mean the possibility of expanding the electrification of transport, both in terms of “refueling stops” and distance travelled. This is often called range anxiety.
“Range anxiety is a greater barrier to the electrification of transport than all other barriers, such as cost and battery capacity, and we have identified a route to eliminating it using rational electrode designs,” added Professor Lynden Archer, who oversaw the project.
“If you can charge an electric vehicle battery in five minutes, I mean, damn, you don’t need a battery big enough for a 300-mile range [483 chilometri]. You can settle for less, which could reduce the cost of electric vehicles, allowing for greater adoption.”
An article describing the discovery is published in the journal Joule.