‘This research brings us closer’

Photo Credit: Getty Images

A team of scientists has developed a battery that could be a game-changer for electric vehicles.

According to Technology Networks, Professor Soojin Park, Ph.D. candidate Minjun Je, and Dr. Hye Bin Son from the Department of Chemistry at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) have developed “a pocket-friendly and rock-solid next-generation high-energy-density [lithium]-ion battery system using micro silicon particles and gel polymer electrolytes.”

Silicon has become an increasingly popular material in battery technology. Since silicon is known for its high storage capacity, the battery developed by the POSTECH team could allow EVs to travel 1,000 kilometers on a single charge.

“We used a micro-silicon anode, yet, we have a stable battery,” Park said. “This research brings us closer to a real high-energy-density lithium-ion battery system.”

Using silicon as a battery material is no easy task. While charging, silicon batteries can expand by more than three times before contracting back to their original size when discharging. To combat the expansion issue, the POSTECH team relied on the addition of gel polymer electrolytes.

“The research team employed an electron beam to form covalent linkages between micro-silicon particles and gel electrolytes,” Technology Networks explained. “These covalent linkages serve to disperse internal stress caused by volume expansion during lithium-ion battery operation, alleviating the changes in micro silicon volume and enhancing structural stability.”

The results proved that the battery can be effective, as the silicon-gel electrolyte combination “exhibited ion conductivity similar to conventional batteries using liquid electrolytes, with an approximate 40% improvement in energy density,” per Technology Networks. Also, the batteries require a production process that is straightforward and cost-effective, making them “ready for immediate application.”

In addition to the developments made by the POSTECH team, experts from the California-based company Amprius Technologies have also employed silicon as a groundbreaking material in EV battery research.

Silicon isn’t the only element that is becoming a difference-maker in battery technology. Experts from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China have discovered that iodine can provide “superior” energy storage in EV batteries.

Also, scientists at MIT have developed an alternative to lithium-ion batteries in the form of aluminum-sulfur batteries, which are cheaper and much less likely to catch on fire than their lithium-ion counterparts.

Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.

Cool Divider

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *