This novel anode-free battery can go 391 miles on a single charge

The trick is to use a higher volumetric energy density.
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Katode end of a lithium ion battery
Katode end of a lithium ion battery

Aslan Alphan/iStock 

A research team has recently developed an anode-free lithium battery that can go 391 miles (630 km) on a single charge.

The newly created anode-free battery has a volumetric energy density of 977Wh/L, which is 40 percent greater than the conventional batteries, while the conventional batteries have a volumetric energy density of 700wh/L.

This might mean that most electric vehicles could have an extended range in the future.

The study, funded by the Alchemist project, was recently published in Advanced Functional Materials.

The battery is the result of the works of the team led by chemistry department Professor Soojin Park and Ph.D. candidate Sungjin Cho from Pohang University of Science and Technology, in collaboration with Professor Dong-Hwa Seo and Dr. Dong Yeon Kim from the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering at Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), is the development of anode-free lithium batteries with a long battery life performance on a single charge.

During repeated charging and discharging, lithium ions travel to and from the electrode, changing the structure of anode materials in batteries. The conventional batteries’ capacities deplete with time for this reason. The energy density, which defines the battery capacity, was anticipated to rise if it were feasible to charge and discharge just with a bare anode current collector without anode materials. Using this approach caused the anode volume to swell significantly, which shortens the battery life and is a severe flaw. The batteries swell because the anode lacks a steady place to store lithium.

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The key is to include ion-conductive substrate

By including an ion-conductive substrate, the research team was able to build an anode-free battery in a typical carbonate-based liquid electrolyte. The substrate reduces the anode's bulk expansion and forms a protective covering over the anode.

According to the study, the battery could operate in a carbonate-based liquid electrolyte for an extended amount of time while maintaining a high capacity of 4.2mAh cm-2 and a high current density of 2.1 mA cm-2. Substrates' ability to hold lithium has also been demonstrated theoretically and experimentally.

The fact that the researchers successfully demonstrated the solid-state1 half-cells2 by using argyrodite-based sulfide-based solid electrolyte is also grabbing notice. As a result of its ability to sustain high capacity for more extended periods, this battery is expected to hasten the commercialization of non-explosive batteries.

This recent development should help us overcome range anxiety.

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