Researchers Develop Safer Electrolyte for Lithium Batteries

Published By : 27 Jun 2018 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Batteries that provide energy to a variety of products such as electric vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and implanted medical devices are crucial for their proper performance. In most of these cases, a lithium battery is used as the powerhouse. Making these batteries fail-safe is a dynamic research area as failure of these batteries directly translate to issues as grave as the failure of a biomedical implant, which could hamper the health of the patient.

A recent research effort undertaken by Dr. Yu Zhu, a polymer science professor, and team have worked out a way of improving the performance and safety aspects of lithium batteries. The researchers have devised a solid polymer electrolyte to be used as a replacement to the presently used liquid electrolyte.

According to the researchers, over the years, solid electrolytes have not found commercial usage in lithium batteries owing to shortcomings such as notable interfacial resistance with electrodes and low ionic conductivity. However, the new dual-salt polymer electrolyte devised by the researchers has demonstrated superionic conductivity at ambient temperature and excellent electrochemical electrochemical stability with the materials used in lithium battery electrodes.

The researchers have established a company, Akron PolyEnergy Inc., to develop the technique further and develop a prototype large enough for commercial purposes. Studies surrounding a solid electrolyte have often been undertaken due to the high mechanical strength and nonflammable nature of solid electrolytes, which could help mitigate the potential damage caused due to the failure of batteries. As energy density and battery safety are critical concerns for a number of new applications of lithium batteries, the new discovery can prove to be a positive step ahead in achieving these goals.

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