No matter how well you preserve your Li-ion batteries, degradation of the electrodes is inevitable. This is probably the reason why everyone is continuously complaining about the under-performance of their batteries, despite the fact that suitable alternatives are just not there yet.
Of course, not all is lost- there is still quite some room for improvement of Li-ion batteries. Scientists around the world are proving this with their continuous efforts and new findings.
The latest comes from a team of Australian scientists, who found a way to reduce degradation of the electrodes, and consequently boost performance and life duration of Li-ion batteries. The solution is to give the batteries a salty bath.
The team of researchers from CSIRO, RMIT University and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) tested a slightly unconventional pre-treatment method. They placed the Li metal electrodes in a bath containing a mixture of lithium salts and ionic liquid. This bath creates a protective film around the electrodes.
The results are astonishing- after the pre-treatment, there was not even a hint of deterioration after 2,500 hours of continuous battery cycling. The prototype that the team developed is super efficient, retaining about 99.5% of the Coulombic efficiency after 1000 charge/discharge cycles. This is by far the largest number of cycles without formation of dendrites that has ever been reported.
In addition to this, the team states that this pre-treatment process extends the life of unused batteries. Apparently, their performance is not affected at all a whole year after they have been “given the bath”.
The method is extremely simple and apparently very easy to add to current manufacturing procedures.
So, is this the end of continuously frustrated EV drivers and smart phone users? Maybe! Let’s hope that the findings of this work go beyond the pages of journals, and reach the real-world industry. The team is currently searching for commercial partners, who can help them bring super batteries to the market.
The technology is patented by CSIRO, while the details and results can be found in the article published in Nature Communications.