Supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Prince Energy, as well as EMD-Merck, scientists from Rice University have discovered that using asphalt in the manufacturing process of lithium-ion batteries may speed up the charging process.
The discovery has been made at Rice University and consists of using anodes essentially made from asphalt. These have remained stable even after over 500 charge-discharge cycles. Furthermore, members of the research team have specified that batteries built using this technology would also be able to store enormous amounts of energy, and would be fully charged in only 5 minutes.
The team previously tried using untreated gilsonite, which is a derivative of asphalt, however, their remarkable results have been are owed to the use of a mix of asphalt and conductive graphene nanoribbons.
They have combined the anode with a cathode made of sulfurized-carbon in order to make the batteries that they’ve used for testing. The researchers have discovered that their new creations had a high-power density of 1,322 watts per kilogram, and a high-energy density of 943 watt-hours per kilogram.
This having been said, the tests also showed that while dendrites usually form in the electrolyte of normal batteries, the asphalt-derived carbon used in the new ones prevented this issue.
The new technology would truly revolutionize the EV industry, as well as the way we produce and store energy from renewable sources.