The long winding road to advanced batteries for electric cars … | Electric Cars and Hybrid Vehicle - Green energy

The long winding road to advanced batteries for electric cars …

19 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи The long winding road to advanced batteries for electric cars … отключены
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The long, winding road to batteries for electric cars

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Batteries have a long way since Alessandro first discovered in 1800 two unlike metals, when by an acidic solution, could an electric current. In their batteries have taken on forms, ranging from to nickel-metal hydride, to current-day

Now technological advances in batteries are critical than ever. with the alarming rate at we are exploiting fossil fuels, the growing energy demand that we find alternative sources.

“Revolutionizing the transportation by electrification and transforming the energy by widespread adoption of renewable sources will require new ideas for energy storage,” Michael Thackeray. a senior at Argonne National Laboratory and the author of a recent review in Energy Environmental Science . could provide that storage, and transform vehicles guzzlers of gas into feats of

With present-day technology, electric vehicles cannot with internal combustion According to the review, “energy two and five times greater are to meet the performance goals of a generation of plug-in hybrid-electric (PHEVs) with a 40-80 all-electric range, and all-electric (EVs) with a 300-400 range, respectively.” To make the scientists will have to new couplings of battery materials.

A typical battery cell two electrodes – a positively-charged cathode and anode – separated by an electrolyte. The cells contained aqueous, or electrolytes. However, because decomposes at a relatively low cell (

1.2 volts), these batteries limited energy densities.

developers of batteries included Planté, who created the lead-acid in 1859, and Thomas Edison, who the nickel-iron battery in 1901. passion for electricity, combined Henry Ford’s hunger to cars, generated much anticipation of electric cars a ago. Before long, gasoline-powered automobiles stole the and have ruled the roads since.

“Materials and processing performance limitations and the uncertainties of insufficiently validated electrochemical and materials in a rapidly maturing are all factors that indicate progress in lithium-ion battery is likely to be incremental rather exponential,” wrote Thackeray.

In nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) descendants of nickel-based batteries Edison’s, recaptured the public’s They were first successfully as a power assist to fuel during acceleration in hybrid-electric vehicle, the Prius.  because of their relatively size and limited energy NiMH batteries cannot the Prius over an extended the vehicle can travel typically two to miles on a single charge if only by electricity.

The oil crisis of the mid-1970s prompted efforts to develop non-aqueous Researchers at the time had just a solid electrolyte ceramic, through which sodium could be transported rapidly at 300 °C. This heralded a new generation of batteries.

Unfortunately, these batteries were prone to circuits and fires, and required heating and cooling units to which limited their in vehicles.  The early generation of lithium batteries, which metallic lithium as the anode, suffered from short and fires.

The “eureka” moment for lithium batteries came in with Sony’s development of a for portable electronics. Instead of an made of lithium metal, battery used a graphite that could accommodate thereby resisting short and reducing the risk of internal It also contained a non-aqueous, electrolyte and a cathode made of cobalt oxide.

The battery worked by shuttling ions reversibly between the two during charge and discharge – it the name “lithium ion”.


is a likely candidate for developing high-energy batteries. It is the third element and has the highest oxidation or tendency to become ionized, of all elements. To this day, Li-ion batteries, such as the found in the Chevy Volt (a and Nissan Leaf (an EV), contain a graphitic anode and a metal oxide cathode of type.

In their present Li-ion batteries bear shortcomings. Continual charging and of the battery wears down the and stability of its electrodes. Furthermore, of choice contain corrosive and ingredients that are unstable at voltages, and electrode-electrolyte reactions can electrode stability.

To improve the and longevity of these batteries, will need to find new and ways to protect electrode at the electrode-electrolyte interface.

Scientists are also looking for materials that can deliver energy. One option is to develop cathodes that release amounts of energy from the electrochemical reactions. These however, must be used in with electrolytes that are at higher voltages.

High-capacity are another option. They are stabilized by manganese ions, are more stable than transition metal ions at voltages. When these are charged above 4.5 volts, all of the lithium can be removed from structures. This maximizes the of electric charge they can during discharge.

However, containing these cathodes are limited by electrode and electrolyte at high charging voltages.

For scientists are experimenting with and metalloids – such as tin and silicon – can accommodate significantly more atoms within their than a typical graphite The main problem with tin and is their tendency to expand and many-fold during charge and which shortens the battery’s life.

Though new electrode and materials can optimize the performance of Li-ion batteries, they at best increase energy by factors of two or three. That may be to satisfy the performance goals of but it falls short of long-term for EVs. “Materials and processing performance limitations and the uncertainties of insufficiently validated electrochemical and materials in a rapidly maturing are all factors that indicate progress in lithium-ion battery is likely to be incremental rather exponential,” wrote Thackeray.

For exponential increases in energy scientists are looking toward batteries, which contain a lithium anode and an oxygen gas Though these batteries can pack much more they are plagued with and safety problems in their form.

Still, researchers are of a breakthrough. They can now use computing to the discovery of new electrode and electrolyte This creates a positive loop in which computing experiments, and experimental results refine the computing process.

high-throughput iterative process may be ultimate hope for discovering that can significantly improve the performance, safety and cost of

The paper , Electrical energy for transportation—approaching the limits of, and going lithium-ion batteries , appears in Environmental Science . Its other are Christopher Wolverton (Northwestern and Eric Isaacs (Argonne Laboratory).

Argonne National Laboratory solutions to pressing national in science and technology. The nation’s national laboratory, Argonne leading-edge basic and applied research in virtually every discipline. Argonne researchers closely with researchers hundreds of companies, universities, and state and municipal agencies to them solve their problems, advance America’s leadership and prepare the nation for a future.

With employees more than 60 nations, is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the Department of Energy ‘s of Science .

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