Lithium-Oxygen Battery Could Lead To Lighter And Long Range EVs

Posted: Jul 26 2016, 4:37am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 26 2016, 5:33am CDT, in News | Cars & Vehicles

Lithium-Oxygen Battery Could Lead to Lighter and Long Range EVs
In a new concept for battery cathodes, nanometer-scale particles made of lithium and oxygen compounds (depicted in red and white) are embedded in a sponge-like lattice (yellow) of cobalt oxide, which keeps them stable. The researchers propose that the material could be packaged in batteries that are very similar to conventional sealed batteries yet provide much more energy for their weight. Courtesy of the MIT researchers
  • Lithium-Oxygen Battery lends Power Minus the Weight to Electric Vehicles

A lithium-oxygen battery will lend power minus the weight to electric vehicles. This is obviously a good thing provided that it works in the long run.

Lithium-air batteries are lauded for causing electric cars to be lighter and go on long routes without a hitch. The power to weight ratio is favorable.

However, there are a few fundamental flaws in the makeup of these batteries. These batteries undergo degradation in a jiffy. Also they tend to generate a lot of heat which dissipates into the environment.

Thus for vehicles that have to last a long time, such batteries are not exactly the ideal deal. Scientists have found something even better than this battery.

The new battery concept, called a nanolithia cathode battery, is described in the journal Nature Energy in a paper by Ju Li, the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT; postdoc Zhi Zhu; and five others at MIT, Argonne National Laboratory, and Peking University in China.

Termed the lithium-oxygen battery this baby delivers he benefits of the lithium-air battery without its negative points. This battery does not suck in oxygen from the surrounding air to complete the chemical reaction.

Rather its basis is in nanoscale particles that act as sieves for oxygen and lithium. As the oxygen changes its state within this setup, the battery goes to work. The energy wastage is automatically reduced. Also the fast changes in volume are avoided.

This battery happens to be environment-friendly to boot. The danger of overcharging is shunted off in a deft manner thanks to the ingenious scheme of this battery.

Right now, this battery is still confined to its nascent phase and is a part of lab experiments. It has yet to be made suitable for use in the outer (more messier) environment where anything may go wrong.

Within a year’s time span, a prototype will be made. The good thing is that it is easy to make and not a very complex battery to begin with. If it all pans out well than you will see electric cars running on this battery within the next few years.

The battery thus shows longevity and efficiency. It packs a powerful punch. As a new variation on an old item, it has what it takes to fuel electric cars.

This battery is proof of the miracles wrought by modern science. What after all is modern science but organized knowledge. It is our refuge in these times which hold great potential.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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