Researchers develop new cathode coating that extends lithium-ion battery life and boosts...

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,388   +121
Staff member
In brief: Researchers from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory in collaboration with scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have developed a particle-level cathode coating that could extend the lifespan and boost the safety of lithium-ion batteries.

As the Argonne National Laboratory highlights, lithium batteries have utilized cathode coatings for more than 15 years albeit in a limited capacity. Existing implementations only blanket a small part of the outside of the cathode particle and aren’t effective when it operates at a high temperature or high voltage.

When a cathode operates at high voltage, it generates oxygen, which oxidizes the electrolyte and creates an unwanted membrane on the cathode that results in energy loss. High temperatures only accelerate the reactions, further jeopardizing the performance of the battery itself.

The researchers’ new coating, made from a polymer called poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT), is said to completely protect each particle of the cathode from reacting with the electrode. It also boosts battery energy by facilitating “the transport of lithium ions and electrons in and out of the cathode.”

As a result, batteries with the new coating can operate at 4.6 V at the cell level compared to 4.2 V of today’s batteries. That may not sound like much but at scale, it could result in significant cost savings for manufacturers, which could be passed along to consumers.

Khalil Amine, a distinguished fellow at Argonne, said the advancement could “increase the driving range of electric cars and boost the battery life of cell phones and laptops, ultimately changing the way we live.”

Those interested in learning more can check out research papers on the matter published in Advanced Energy Materials and the journal Nature.

Masthead credit: asharkyu

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seeprime

Posts: 469   +496
The potential of getting ten percent more miles per charge on an EV is excellent. Will that happen, or will Tesla and other companies just use smaller batteries? Time will tell as this could take a couple of years to be implemented in EV batteries.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 181   +104
"is said to completely protect each particle of the cathode from reacting with the electrode." I think the last word, from what went before in the article, should have been "electrolyte". The cathode is an electrode, and the other electrode would be the anode, which wasn't even mentioned.
 
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Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,469   +1,440
TechSpot Elite
early adopters always pay the price for progress, I don't understand what you're trying to get at unless you're just trolling
Not intending to troll but it sure came off that way. More commenting on the fact that early adopters take the brunt of price and then have to take it again to keep up with newer tech.
 
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yRaz

Posts: 3,342   +2,817
Boost all you want, it is still a toxic, inflammable liquid. The new graphene batteries, on the other hand...
as amazing as graphene is as a material, we have no real way to manufacture it large scale and may not for another decade or even longer. Remember what came before lithium? NiCad batteries. In the end we all want an extremely energy dense non toxic battery, but we aren't going to get there overnight.

As I like to say, You gotta P*ss with the C*ck you got. If we have to deal with this stuff being toxic ANYWAY then we might as well get the most out of it we can while we work on replacing it
 

Godel

Posts: 230   +131
The abstract from the first link given seems to mostly talk about coating the particles in sb (antimony) not this PEDOT polymer.
 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,005   +3,883
TechSpot Elite
as amazing as graphene is as a material, we have no real way to manufacture it large scale and may not for another decade or even longer.
Not quite, I've been following news on this, and things change quickly for graphene, especially the last and this year, with more and more new products available, new manufacturing opening, and efficiency improvements. Graphene market is growing fast now.
 

Mister_K

Posts: 1,917   +610
Not quite, I've been following news on this, and things change quickly for graphene, especially the last and this year, with more and more new products available, new manufacturing opening, and efficiency improvements. Graphene market is growing fast now.
Graphene is hard to manufacture and very expensive. Bonding it together without impurities is still currently an extremely difficult task. When you have impurities, then it's not running at a great efficiency. Now cheap graphene has been in use in products like sports equipment for instance. Some super capacitors use it but again not economically competitive.

Also you can make lithium ion cheaper and better without the use of graphene then the use and research of graphene will only be further delayed.

Any commercial graphene you are seeing today is from research and experiments done in 2009.
A pristine graphene sheet of 4 square inches runs $50 a square inch. Anything that requires a lot of layers of graphene will run you thousands of dollars. Not exactly viable for commercial use and specially that for an EV.

It's going to revolutionise the future that is for sure, but as usual, capitalism is holding back the advancements. I reckon another 5-10 years before a widespread use.
 

DaveBG

Posts: 495   +201
All those Teslas, now obsolete. So sad.

Though I'm sure Muskie will be happy to sell you a new Hi-Cap battery for another $15K.
Nothing is obsolete. Even the current Tesla batteries will outlast the current cars. I cannot say the same for the Taycans, Etrons and the others though...
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,213   +5,600
And just a year ago everything was about the graphite based batteries and how they were going to double or triple the storage of today's best batteries .... Seems we have had this continuing "promise of bigger & better" for several decades and what about the new form of super capacitor that was going to replace the basic battery? If ever there was the need for a law it should be that you can't brag about it until it's made, tested, verified, and ready for the public. Oh wait, that would have a detrimental effect on all politicians .... never mind .....