Tomorrow's Battery is Comprised of Lithium and Carbon Nano-structures

Tomorrow's Battery is Comprised of Lithium and Carbon Nano-structures

Anode diagram

The Lithium-Carbon nanostructure combination allows for the battery to operate in a more stable fashion, producing more energy and reducing the risk of fire.

How does a device with three times the average battery life of today's electronics sound? Researchers at Stanford University believe that constructing a battery cell made primarily of lithium and carbon nanospheres could potentially yield better energy output. In a paper published at Nature Nanotechnology, their study explores new improvements in the field of compact electron storage.

Current batteries operate by collecting positively-charged ions in an electrical conductor known as an anode. These anodes are typically made from materials such as graphite or silicon, but researchers suggest that if anodes were made of lithium, it would reduce the weight and increase the energy density of a battery. They write that lithium has a specific capacity of 3,860 mAh g-1 (a measurement of energy output)- which exceeds that of any available materials, and has a low anode potential. However, certain elemental characteristics have prevented it from being used as in anodes.

"The lithium anode forms dendritic and mossy metal deposits, leading to serious safety concerns and low Coulombic efficiency during charge/discharge cycles," they write in the study. In order to prevent such detrimental occurances, researchers coated a lithium anode with a layer of hollow carbon nanospheres to inhibit dendritic deposits. This honeycomb-like nanosphere layer is 20 nanometers thick and forms a protective, chemically stable barrier- flexible enough to expand and contract during the charge cycle.

The researchers say that so far, the Coulombic efficiency of the battery (a ratio of input charge to output charge) is over 99% at 150 cycles, but eventually their goal is to reach 99.9%. "Of all the materials that one might use in an anode, lithium has the greatest potential. Some call it the Holy Grail," comments Stanford professor Yi Cui, who is the head of the study.

Share your thoughts on this new and improved battery in the comments below!

Source: The Register via Nature Nanotechnology

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This is actually pretty sweet, assuming it actually works. I vaguely remember reading that our current batteries are a major cap in what we're capable of technologically, so major improvements in that department could really work wonders (especially if this tech can be applied to larger scale electronics such as laptops or even cars). I do have to wonder though - don't we already use lithium in rechargable batteries? What makes this so different from Lithium Ion, and how does it compare to that?

... A part of me regrets not doing better in chemistry and physics. Science is so cool.

it's too bad lithium is so poisonous, otherwise this could be very fantastic.

This reminds me too much of those many others old news about scientists creating a new battery which will last x times longer than the current battery.
Hope = -1.

This won't come to life any time soon.

What's to say? New battery technology generally sounds like a great idea; indeed, if we're going to make any sort of significant change in the power grid towards renewables, we're going to need better battery technology. If nothing else, the next generation of electric vehicles is going to count on it.

The questions that still remain, of course, are regarding feasibility, price, and mass-manufacturing capability. A battery that stores three times as much energy but costs five times as much and takes ten times as long to charge is dead in the water.

Sweet, a new battery design... I wonder how long it will take for this new design to be rendered mundane by increased power consumption of smartphones.

this sounds great advancement untill you remmeber that its still Lithium and if we dont get rid of that soon were going to end up sitting there with no materials to manufacture from soon.

BiH-Kira:
This reminds me too much of those many others old news about scientists creating a new battery which will last x times longer than the current battery.
Hope = -1.

This won't come to life any time soon.

Funny thing - the amount of power stored in new batteries versus, say, ones 10 years ago are multiple times. its just that most devices also consume more now.

Strazdas:
this sounds great advancement untill you remmeber that its still Lithium and if we dont get rid of that soon were going to end up sitting there with no materials to manufacture from soon.

BiH-Kira:
This reminds me too much of those many others old news about scientists creating a new battery which will last x times longer than the current battery.
Hope = -1.

This won't come to life any time soon.

Funny thing - the amount of power stored in new batteries versus, say, ones 10 years ago are multiple times. its just that most devices also consume more now.

Can we not recycle old Lithium Ion batteries to use for this, cutting down the use of unharvested materials in favor of existing ones?

OT: I wonder what the heat generation of these batteries is. Its nice to hear they're looking for more efficient ways of storing energy, and that carbon nanotubing is having such broad theoretical applications. Even if this doesn't work out, the idea may be expanded to use other materials previously thought incapable due to similar limitations. Keep exploring these things ye scientists.

Is it wrong that the first thing that comes to my mind when I read about this amazing scientific progress is longer controller battery life? Of course it's not wrong!

Isn't this project like 3-4 years old? I think it's one of those ingenious battery designes that quickly got bought up by the current battery makers and shelved, since replacing the massive production lines they have for li-ion batteries would be too expensive...

Imperioratorex Caprae:

Can we not recycle old Lithium Ion batteries to use for this, cutting down the use of unharvested materials in favor of existing ones?

OT: I wonder what the heat generation of these batteries is. Its nice to hear they're looking for more efficient ways of storing energy, and that carbon nanotubing is having such broad theoretical applications. Even if this doesn't work out, the idea may be expanded to use other materials previously thought incapable due to similar limitations. Keep exploring these things ye scientists.

we can to a point, but a lot of it "dissapears" (read - people dont recycle) and there is everincreaisng need for "in use".

As far as heat generation goes, likely very low. if it produces a lot of heat it would mean it wastes a lot of energy in form of heat, and since they want efficient it has to not waste energy to heat.

Haru17:
Is it wrong that the first thing that comes to my mind when I read about this amazing scientific progress is longer controller battery life? Of course it's not wrong!

could be wrong. does your controller use regular one-off batteries or rechargable ones. because this would only apply to rechargable ones.

So long as it's longer-lasting and just as safe, all it needs now is for it to work, and then I won't care one bit if it's made from strapped chickens.

Evil Smurf:
it's too bad lithium is so poisonous, otherwise this could be very fantastic.

Wait, how do you use batteries?
I thought that you don't need to eat them for them to work.
Or maybe you're one of those cool nanoaugs that can munch on batteries to regain bioelectricity?

captcha: apple sauce
Yes please, give me all that delicious ATP.

blackrave:

Evil Smurf:
it's too bad lithium is so poisonous, otherwise this could be very fantastic.

Wait, how do you use batteries?
I thought that you don't need to eat them for them to work.
Or maybe you're one of those cool nanoaugs that can munch on batteries to regain bioelectricity?

captcha: apple sauce
Yes please, give me all that delicious ATP.

O_o

I'm definitely human, I'm absolutely not a conglomerate of nanomachines that occasionally leaks deadly poison.

Beep boop...

I hope they'll come in 3.7V so I don't have to change drivers in my flashlights.

 

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