UC San Diego researchers create solid-state battery that could stir up the power industry

jsilva

Posts: 197   +1
Staff
In brief: A team of UC San Diego engineers have been working on an all-solid-state battery that combines a solid electrolyte and a silicon anode. The combination of these components significantly increases power density, improving battery life and charging time.

The study published by UC San Diego explains how this new type of solid-state battery may revolutionize certain areas of the power industry through the benefits it brings. Besides charging faster and lasting longer, this all-solid-state battery composition doesn't include flammable substances, toxic or volatile compounds, nor rare elements, making it a safer than most other batteries.

Instead of using graphite anodes like most other battery technologies, the UC San Diego-developed battery uses a silicon anode. This change alone allows the battery to increase its power density by up to 10x, but it raises the issue of expansion and contraction as the battery is charged and depleted.

To solve this issue, researchers started by removing the carbon and binders commonly used in all-silicon anodes. Moreover, they opted for a micro-silicon anode instead of a nano-silicon one, choosing a less processed and cheaper solution. Lastly, they replaced the liquid electrolyte with a sulfide-based solid electrolyte to increase the anode's stability.

"The solid-state silicon approach overcomes many limitations in conventional batteries. It presents exciting opportunities for us to meet market demands for higher volumetric energy, lowered costs, and safer batteries especially for grid energy storage," said Darren H. S. Tan.

The current all-solid-state battery prototype already shows some promise. It is capable of delivering 500x charge and discharge cycles while retaining 80 percent of its capacity at room temperature, but the technology should improve as it keeps being developed.

At the moment, the new battery technology is licensed to Unigrid, a startup company formed by Darren H. S. Tan, who's also leading the battery's project. LG Energy Solutions is also collaborating on this research through its open innovation program.

Car manufacturers like BMW, Toyota and VW, among others, are developing solid-state battery tech for their products, but they aren't the only ones. Other companies like Qing Tao Energy Development Co and Sakuu are also working on solid-state batteries.

We have yet to see a product powered by this type of battery, but considering the latest developments, it shouldn't take long.

Masthead credit: Tyler Lastovich

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psycros

Posts: 3,612   +4,456
US universities are nothing but Chinese corporate think tanks now. And that's not even counting the tech that's outright stolen.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 542   +417
As if this isn't t the nth time we have heard this.... "new battery that will revolutionise the world!" "say goodbye to charging times with this battery that charges in 5 seconds!"

So where are they then?


you are mostly right - batteries have been improving incrementally , and are much safer .
I do hold out hope here as it's a trillion dollar business - so lots of R&D going on . In this case - without referencing the source - it ticked a lot of boxes , cheaper, less toxic , no rare earth metals needed , power density a big tick - recharge cycles ok for new tech . But it's interesting what they leave out - Power delivery no mention , recharge times no mention - ie is it practical??
There are probably other things I missed out - but those 2 are big ones
 
US universities are nothing but Chinese corporate think tanks now. And that's not even counting the tech that's outright stolen.
LGe is Korean just like other s. Asian....Taiwan is a high performing nonParty China. I don't think I have a handle on how Taiwanese research circulates, but they have pipelines and startup communities like us. That is to say, a) nobody needs to feel too left out and yet also underpaid all from the get-go, and b) cracking out new safety and applicability horizons takes a bunch of firms anyhow. May your tries be uncountable and successes many.
 
If this battery tech rises to reality, China would implement it sooner than US...!
Rises to reality? You mean mass production that also intersects with something you buy a few times and not unique to the electric grid in Kigali? What buying signals are you putting forth for microgrids and heavy hydrogen assisted equipment this month, you know? Get into your city with that futuristic planning stuff...try and make it in progressive Mississippi, and China will be as flabbergasted as you.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,221   +791
US universities are nothing but Chinese corporate think tanks now. And that's not even counting the tech that's outright stolen.
You mean billionaires are exploiting cheap labor overseas so the US doesn't have domestic manufacturing? That's capitalism. Not the Chinese fault...
 

monte

Posts: 9   +2
"We have yet to see a product powered by this type of battery, but considering the latest developments, it shouldn't take long".

Where have I heard this before?
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,221   +791
"We have yet to see a product powered by this type of battery, but considering the latest developments, it shouldn't take long".

Where have I heard this before?
All the time. It's the point. We keep trying to improve stuff.

I think the issue is we have a society where we are required to overhype stuff. To achieve continuing funding etc. Then news sites overhype it. But the reality is the proportionate representation of deliverability is much lower. That is nothing to do with whether this research is valuable. Huge amounts of research improves human knowledge but isn't instantly realisable as product improvement.