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Batteries of the Future: Introduction and Status

Batteries of the Future: Introduction and Status

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  The world needs more power and the power should be in a form that is renewable and clean. It is the lithium-ion batteries that currently shapes our energy-storage strategies, especially at the most advanced stage of such technology. But the question is, what should we look forward to, especially in the years to come?

  Battery basics would be the best point to start. First, a battery is simply a pack of a cell or more cells, with each cell having the anode (a negative electrode), the cathode (a positive electrode), an electrolyte, and a separator. The properties of the battery, including the number of time the battery can be recharged and discharged, the amount of power it can provide, and the amount of energy it can output or store, depend on what chemicals and materials are used for these.

  Battery companies, institutions, and experts in the field are constantly experimenting with an aim of finding chemistries that are more powerful, denser, lighter, and cheaper. There are currently a few battery technologies with unimaginable transformative potential. It is these technologies that hold the future of the batteries. It is all about a common ingredient that no one thought its addition could bring a whole difference.

  Batteries of the Future Set to be Cheaper and Better-just by Adding Sugar

  Researchers have revealed that they are confident that they have found a great path to the new generation of batteries. These batteries could power an electric vehicle so that it can drive to Sydney from Melbourne on just a single charge. And surprisingly, a spoonful of sugar was the crucial ingredient.

  Just by adding sugar, researchers have now been able to create more sustainable, lighter, and longer-lasting rival to the lithium-ion batteries that are vital for submarines, electric vehicles, and aviation.

  Researchers have reported that by using a glucose-based additive, particularly on the positive electrode, the lithium-sulfur technology has been stabilized. As you know, it is the lithium-sulfur battery technology that has long been flaunted as the basis of the future generation of batteries. Now, it is even getting better.

  In few years to come, this technology could actually lead to vehicles, including electric trucks and busses that can travel from Melbourne all the way to Sydney without charging. This technology could also enable great innovation in agricultural and delivery drones where lightweight is supreme.

  In theory, lithium-sulfur batteries have the potential to store between 2 and 5 times more energy that what lithium-ion batteries of the same category and weight could store. The main challenge has been that this has only been in theory. However, in use, the electrodes in the lithium-sulfur batteries deteriorate at a faster rate, and the batteries just broke down.

  Experts gave two possible explanations for this. First, the positive sulfur electrodes suffered extensively from substantial contraction and expansion, thereby weakening, which makes it inaccessible to lithium. The second reason is that sulfur compounds contaminated the negative lithium electrode.

  It has been demonstrated that the sulfur electrode’s structure could be opened to accommodate expansion and also make it more and easily accessible to lithium.

  Sugar can now be incorporated into the electrode’s web-like architecture. This stabilizes the sulfur, thereby preventing it from moving covering the lithium electrode.

  Experts have constructed test-cell prototypes that have a charge-discharge life of 1000 cycles and above, while still holding even far more capacity as compared to the equivalent lithium-ion batteries.

  As such, each charge lasts longer and this extends the life of the battery. Manufacturing the batteries also doesn’t require expansive, toxic, and exotic materials.

  The proponents of this technology were inspired by a geochemistry report published in 1988 and gave a description of how sugar-based substances form strong bonds with sulfides to resist degenerations in geological sediments.

  Of course, most of the challenges on the battery’s side of cathode have now been resolved by the new technology. However, further innovation is still needed on how to protect the lithium metal anode so that large-scale uptake of this great, promising technology can be enabled. Chances are that these innovations are just right around the corner.

  Super Batteries of the Future

  The world need batteries that are safer to use, last longer, and store more energy. Fortunately, there are new batteries that are coming soon and are the ones that are expected to power the future. They include:

  NanoBolt Lithium Tungsten Batteries

  In this battery, tungsten and carbon-layered nanotubes, which bond strongly to the copper anode substrate before building up a web-like nano structure, are added. That forms a huge surface where more ions can attach during discharge and recharge cycles. That makes the NanoBolt lithium tungsten battery to recharge faster and store more energy as well.

  Organosilicon Electrolyte Batteries

  The danger of electrolyte exploding or catching fire is the main problem with the lithium batteries. Chemistry professors Robert West and Robert Hamers of the University of Wisconson-Madiso, in their quest for something safer to replace the carbonate based solvent system found in Li-ion batteries, developed OS (organosilicon based liquid solvents. This has greatly contributed to the improvements in batteries technology. The resulting electrolytes can easily be engineered, especially at the moleculat level, for consumer, military, and industrial Li-ion battery markets.

  Zinc-manganese Oxide Batteries

  A team operating from the DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was investigating conventional assumptions on how a battery works. They were surprised to discover an unexpected chemical conversion reaction in the zinc-manganese oxide battery. In the event that the process can be controlled, then it can lead to an increase in the energy density in the conventional batteries without necessarily incurring any costs. This new development puts the zinc-manganese oxide battery at a position of being an alternative to lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, especially for the larger-scale energy storage to add to the nation’s electricity grid.

  Electric Car Batteries of the Future

  Transition to electric vehicles will depend heavily on the development and technologies of electric vehicle batteries.

  Researchers are already racing against time to find a way of reducing the amounts of metals needed to make EV batteries. The amount usually vary based on the type of the battery and the model of the vehicle.

  According to various analysts, lithium ion-batteries are still going to be the go-to batteries for many years to come. In fact, there is likelihood that lithium-ion batteries will remain the dominant technology for the future. There has been a drastic drop in the cost. In fact, they have now become 30 times cheaper. It is projected that a lithium-ion EV battery pack will cost below 100 US dollars per kilowatt-hour by 2023. This will make electric card far much cheaper than conventional vehicles.

 

 

 

 

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