10 Most Advanced Battery Technologies That Will Power the Future
Most Advanced Battery Technologies That Will Power the Future.
10. New-Generation Lithium-Ion Battery
A conventional lithium-ion battery uses lithium-ion as a key component of its electrochemistry. Lithium atoms in the anode are ionized and are separated from their electrons. The next generation of lithium-ion batteries will work on technological innovations in the cathode, enabling higher energy densities and lower costs. There are three types of lithium-ion batteries which are used in electric vehicles: lithium ferrophosphate, or lithium iron phosphate, lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide and lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide.
Despite the advantages of eco-friendliness and lower working potential, conventional graphite anode in lithium batteries is facing challenges, such as the limited capacity to fulfill the requirements of emerging trends of electric cars and hybrid vehicles. Next-generation lithium-ion batteries with higher density have novel anode materials. These batteries have the potential to exhibit higher energy capacity and better cycling durability than conventional graphite. Currently, various prelithiation methods for compensating the anode’s initial irreversible capacity have been found. However, large-scale commercial applications have not been developed yet.
9. Lithium-Sulfur Battery
In lithium-sulfur batteries, the positive electrode is sulfur and the negative electrode is made up of metallic lithium. The cell voltage is comparatively lower than lithium-ion cells and is about 2 V.
These batteries have an energy density several times higher than lithium-ion batteries. Li-S have specific energies on the order of 550 Wh/kg. Contrary to that, conventional lithium-ion batteries have a range of 150-260 Wh/kg.
The sulfur used as a cathode in lithium-sulfur batteries is less expensive than the cobalt used in conventional lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are in higher demand in future because of their greater energy storage and cost efficiency.
Lithium-sulfur batteries have a major drawback: they are reusable for around 1000 charge cycles whereas lithium-ion batteries can be recharged 2000 – 3000 times. Lithium-sulfur batteries with more than 1500 charge and discharge cycles were presented in 2017 but their cycle life test at a commercial scale with lean electrolyte is yet to be demonstrated.
8. Saltwater Battery
A saltwater battery has a concentrated saline solution as its electrodes. The water molecules pull the sodium and chloride ions apart, making them free-floating. Sodium is extracted from the solution while charging the battery and the extracted salt water is discharged with oxygen dissolved in it. This functions as an oxidant to produce electricity.
Unlike conventional lithium-ion batteries, these batteries don't use flammable electrolytes which makes them much safer and easier to manufacture, use and recycle. Researchers have discovered that saline solution displays an electrochemical stability of up to 2.6 volts. Saltwater batteries can be recharged for 5000 cycles during their lifespan. However, these batteries can be used beyond the indicated cycles as they are inflammable and non-explosive.
Having a high energy density, they can power electronic devices for a longer duration. However, in order to achieve that density level, batteries are required to be built bigger and require more materials. This, in turn, increases the production cost as well as the size of saltwater batteries. Therefore, these batteries are not being used commercially.
7. Solid State Battery
Unlike conventional lithium batteries, which use liquid and polymer gel electrolytes, solid-state batteries use solid electrodes and a solid electrolyte made up of ceramics such as oxides, glass and sulfides etc. These batteries have a higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries and could be recharged up to seven times with a life span of ten years.
Solid-state batteries can decrease the carbon footprint of an electric vehicle by 24%. Research has shown that the use of additional materials in these batteries can further reduce the carbon footprint of an EV by 39%. They are also being used in pacemakers, RFID tags and wearable devices.
Toyota Motor is considered the leader in solid-state battery patents. Currently, EVs with solid-state batteries are not commercially available but are expected to be used in EVs from 2025. Moreover, solid-states are being tested in EVs by BMW and Ford. Major companies in the solid-state market are Robert Bosch, Cymbet, BrightVolt, Samsung SDI, QuantumScape, SolidEnergy Systems and Toyota Motor Corporation etc.
6. Cobalt-Free Lithium-ion Battery
Cobalt, which is a key element in producing conventional lithium-ion batteries, is considered an expensive metal. Additionally, 50-60% of the worldwide cobalt resources are located in the politically unstable Congo (DRC) and are extracted by questionable working conditions. Cobalt-free batteries provide a solution to this problem by using alternative materials as the cathode in lithium-ion batteries.
Cobalt-free lithium-ion chemistries include lithium ferrous phosphate and lithium titanate. Manganese and nickel are also used as electrode metals for cobalt-free batteries. These alternatives are less expensive than standard cobalt-based batteries. Nickel-based ion batteries have a higher energy density than cobalt-based batteries which means that it consumes less space and has higher energy. Cobalt-free batteries are also less toxic to the environment.
Tesla, a major EV manufacturer, stated that almost all cars produced in the first quarter were using cobalt-free iron-phosphate batteries. SVOLT, another EV battery manufacturer, is making cobalt-free batteries using nickel and manganese. The cathode material used by the company contains 75% nickel and 25% manganese.
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