More efficient, longer-lasting batteries are needed to ensure the future of the electric vehicle market. Thanks to Jeff R. Dahn and his Dalhousie University research team, a “million-mile battery” may soon be a reality. Dahn is Tesla’s battery research partner. In “A Wide Range of Testing Results on an Excellent Lithium-Ion Cell Chemistry to be used as Benchmarks for New Battery Technologies,” Dahn describes a new Li-ion battery cell with a single crystal NMC cathode and an advanced electrolyte. The new battery should power an electric vehicle for one million miles and last at least 20 years in grid energy storage—making Tesla’s electric-powered semi-autonomous driving cars and trucks viable.
Energy storage is crucial for the successful transition to renewable energy. Yet lithium-ion batteries have major limitations. Demand for lithium has increased exponentially, but production has not kept pace. Extracting lithium by brine mining is a long, costly, energy-intensive, and dangerous process with significant environmental impact. Access is difficult as most lithium mines are in South America.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras developed a rechargeable iron ion battery to replace lithium. It uses mild steel as the anode and can store a high amount of energy. The iron battery withstood 150 cycles of charging and discharging under controlled conditions. After 50 cycles, the battery had 54 percent capacity retention. (more…)
University of Calgary Chemistry Professor Venkataraman Thangadurai’s background in solid-state batteries, solid oxide fuel cells, proton conducting SOFCs, and gas sensors have made him a source for information over the years. Because of this, the longtime ECS and battery division member has been invited to present several presentations this spring.
International Battery Event
This March, Thangadurai will speak at the International Battery Seminar & Exhibit taking place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The annual event showcases state of the art energy storage technology developments for consumer, automotive, military, and industrial applications, as well as offer attendees insights from guest speakers sharing their thoughts on significant material advancements, product development, manufacturing, and application of battery systems and enabling technologies.
ECS Biannual Meetings
Similar to the International Battery Seminar & Exhibit, ECS hosts biannual meetings on a broader scale, including a diverse number of topics in the electrochemical, solid state science, and technology field, of which Thangadurai has been a recurring speaker of.
In 2018, he attended AiMES as an invited guest speaker presenting his work, “Chemical and Electrochemical Stability of Fast Lithium Ion Conducting Garnet-Type Metal Oxides in H2o, Aqueous Solution, CO2, Li and S,” available in ECS Meeting Abstracts.
Hydrogen gas: it’s storable, can refuel a car in minutes (versus batteries which can take hours to recharge), and its waste product is water. It is the holy grail of clean-energy advocates.
According to a new paper in Nature Energy, researchers from universities in Germany and at Stanford University have created a financial model for a wind farm connected to a hydrogen electrolyzer. (more…)
Perovskite-based solar cells are all around great. They offer energy efficiencies similar to those of traditional silicon-based cells, are lightweight, simple and cheap to produce, and offer physical flexibility that could unlock a wide new range of installation methods and places, according to Georgia Teach Research Horizons.
The only problem: figuring out how to produce perovskite-based energy devices that last longer than a couple of months.
Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California San Diego, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology may be closer to solving that problem. (more…)
According to Forbes, engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder have created a new material that works like an air conditioning system for structures—cooling rooftops with zero energy consumption.
The material, about the same thickness as aluminum foil, is rolled across the surface of a rooftop, reflecting incoming solar energy back into space while simultaneously purging its own heat. Adding to its appeal, the material is adaptable and cost-effective for use in large-scale residential and commercial applications, as it can be manufactured on rolls. (more…)
Temperature extremes, in general, are not favorable to batteries. According to Lifewire, lead-acid batteries drop in capacity by about 20 percent in normal to freezing weather, and down to about 50 percent in temperatures that reach about -22 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a result, you may find your car battery giving out on any given winter morning. This is due to reduced capacity and increased draw from starter motors and accessories. This is because starter motors require a tremendous amount of amperage to get going: knocking out the capacity of even the newest batteries. (more…)
Researchers have recently discovered that light sensors might be able to help with that. According to New Food, the sensors work by actively measuring the various wavelengths of light coming off of crop leaves. These measurements are then used to calculate how much nitrogen crops need for optimal health. (more…)
Marshall Medoff will make you think twice about what is possible. The 81-year-old took an interest in the environment 25 years ago and decided he was going to take it upon himself to stop global warming. With no science background or financial support, Medoff took it upon himself to “save the world.” For more than a decade, he worked alone out of a garage at a storage facility, educating himself and working towards his goal; his solution, transform inedible plant life into environmentally friendly transportation fuels in a clean, cost-effective alternative.
“Cellulose is everywhere. I mean, there’s just so much cellulose in the world and nobody had managed to use any of it,” explained Medoff, as he chatted with correspondent Lesley Stahl on 60 minutes. “I said, ‘Wow, if I can break through this, we can increase the resources of the world maybe by a third or more.’ Who knows?” (more…)
Perk up people, this is the Forbes list 30 under 30 in energy edition. According to Forbes, each year their reporters spend months combing through possible contestants. Questionnaires, online digging, contact recommendations, and a panel of expert judges all help sift through to the top remaining candidates.
This year, Forbes focused on the movers and shakers of the battery field. With a worldwide $200 billion a year investment in wind and solar power generation projects, the revolution in renewables, and the transition to low-carbon energy sources is undeniable. And for that reason, we highlight three—just the tip of the iceburg—from the top thirty list.
I don’t know what you were doing when you were 17, but Meghana Bollimpalli, a student at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas was inspired by a seminar on energy storage. Bollimpalli began working towards figuring out a way to make supercapacitors from cheaper materials. She discovered a mixture of tea powder, molasses, and tannin, with a pinch of phosphorous and nitrogen, could achieve the same performance as a platinum-based electrode, for just $1 each, taking home the 2018 Intel Foundation Young Scientist award. Not bad for a high school student. (more…)