Moderate Lithium Batteries with "Drop In" Electrolyte Reduce Splitting

Apr, 2021 - By SMI

Moderate Lithium Batteries with

A team from MIT has recently created a new electrolyte solution and addressed one of its major issues trying to suppress the technology, opening the way for electric vehicles and mobile devices which will last much longer on a single charge.

The MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) researchers claimed that they had discovered a feasible route forward, which resulted from earlier research through lithium-air batteries. Some members of the research team had created a new organic-based electrolyte for lithium-air batteries a few years earlier and wanted to see what else they could do about it. The concept of a lithium metal battery opens up the possibility of mobile devices and vehicles which can hold much more charge with no additional weight. That's also due to the high energy density which can be offered by a purely lithium metal anode. Moreover, there have been some technological problems that must be resolved before they can become a possibility.

Chemical reactions in the electrolyte, which is the solution that transports lithium ions back and forth in the anode and the cathode though it charges. Moreover, atoms in metal alloys are vulnerable to removing in the electrolyte solution, causing the electrodes to lose mass as the battery cycles, gradually cracking and degrading. The electrolyte was tested in accordance with the typical cathodes used during today's lithium batteries that are metal oxides containing lithium, manganese, cobalt, nickel and as well as a lithium-metal anode.

During the analysis, the new electrolyte proved to be extremely resistant to metal atom dissolution, avoiding mass loss and the splitting that normally occurs. It had decreased the concentration of undesirable compounds on the electrode surface by much more over tenfold while still allowing the lithium ions required to charge the battery to move freely. Although the electrolyte performed admirably when mixed with the lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt cathode in the team's experiments, the way it interacted with the lithium metal anode in the team's experimentation may lead to many innovative career directions.

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