John Goodenough, a professor in the Univesity of Texas, and his team of engineers were able to develop a battery in a solid state. The lack of any toxic liquid in a battery allows the battery to be safer and long lasting. In fact, since this developed battery is rechargeable, it can be used in mobile devices, electric cars, and energy storage.
This innovation’s main aim was to develop a cheaper, long lasting energy storage with a battery in solid state. Since the battery’s contents aren’t in liquid form, the battery has a much higher energy density. A higher energy density means that a car can drive more miles between charges.
This, of course, allows a new perspective on the capacity of electric cars. Additionally, the charging time has also decreased drastically with the new battery; it has decreased to minutes from hours. More information about the battery was published in the ‘Energy & Environmental Science’ journal. Regarding the battery Goodenough said:
“Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted. We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries.”
Today’s rechargeable batteries are lithium-ion batteries, which are very heavy. They basically transform ions from the anode to the cathode. When the battery is charged too quickly, deformation occurs, and ‘metal whiskers’ happen to form in the liquid. Such an overload can lead to explosion or fire.
So, an overload or a quick recharge is extremely important to avoid for safety measures. With this new battery, the team used glass electrolytes instead of lithium. This also allowed for an alkali-metal to be used in the anode. Thus, with glass and alkali-metal, the formation of dendrites were avoided. As a result, a quicker battery recharge was made possible.
Additionally, this new battery is made of earth-friendly materials. Braga, a researcher that collaborated with Goodenough said:
“The glass electrolytes allow for the substitution of low-cost sodium for lithium. Sodium is extracted from seawater that is widely available.”
The experiments showed that researchers were able to run the battery for 1,200 cycles while in low cell resistance.
Goodenough and Braga will be pursuing their research on battery innovation. They are currently working on several patents and hope to commercialize the new battery in car and energy storage industry.