John B. Goodenough

Christina Bock, president of the Board of The Electrochemical Society (ECS), congratulated John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino who today were jointly awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

“On behalf of the entire ECS community, I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to our esteemed members: John Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino on being awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry ‘for the development of Lithium-ion batteries,’” said Bock. “This is fitting recognition for the truly groundbreaking advancements these pioneers have made for our field and for the whole of humanity. Simply put, their research is the enabling science upon which the solutions to the grand challenges facing the planet—renewable energy, clean transportation, communications to name but a few—will be based. We are honored to count their almost 60 years of combined membership among our ranks.” (more…)

Christopher Jannuzzi, Executive Director and CEO of The Electrochemical Society (ECS), is featured in SciTech Europa Quarterly, a digital publication bringing together the key voices in the European scientific community and the leading trends in science, research and innovation. Jannuzzi describes the distinguished history of ECS, which was founded in 1902 and has grown to a society with over 8,000 members in 80 countries. The core mission remains the same: to advance theory and practice at the forefront of electrochemical and solid state science and technology, and allied subjects. However, with 13 electrochemistry and solid state science and technology divisions, the application—and vital significance—of electrochemistry has grown exponentially. The research published in ECS journals is of huge importance to the future of our planet. ECS makes it freely available to all readers—and free for authors to publish—through a bold and exciting open access initiative, “Free the Science.” Read the full article in SciTech Europa Quarterly now.

Elon Musk promised—and Jeff Dahn delivered! With the publishing of a ground-breaking paper in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES), Dahn announced to the world that Tesla may soon have a battery that makes their robot taxis and long-haul electric trucks viable. Dahn and his research group is Tesla’s battery research partner. Dahn says “… that cells of this type should be able to power an electric vehicle for over one million miles and last at least two decades in grid energy storage.

According to Doron Aurbach, JES batteries and energy storage technical editor, “This comprehensive article is expected to be impactful in the field of batteries and energy storage. It is a very systematic study by one of the most renowned and prestigious electrochemistry groups in the world. It was a pleasure for me as a technical editor to handle this paper. It substantiates all the statements about the truly high quality and importance of JES, one of the leading and most prestigious journals in electrochemistry. JES provides an excellent service to the global electrochemistry community—and thousands of ECS members—regardless of ‘impact factors.’” As of today, Dahn’s JES article has received over 31,563 abstract views, over 17,000 articles downloads, and quotes in news outlets around the world. (more…)

Jeff Dahn

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.

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Let’s face it. Anyone can benefit from a boost in their cell phone’s battery life, with the use of social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the daily connectedness of email, texting, FaceTime, and selfies, it’s a surprise if our cell phone batteries last a day—which most often they don’t. Cut to, Apple’s newly released smart battery case that extends the life of their latest iPhones: the XS and XR. (more…)

Holiday Warning: Deadly Batteries

With the holidays fast approaching, you may find yourself purchasing toys and gifts for some little ones. As you do, it’s important to keep some safety tips in mind. The National Capital Poison Center recently reported an increasing number of fatal button batteries ingestions over the years.

These coin-sized batteries have the potential to cause severe esophageal or airway burns when stuck in the esophagus, even after no initial signs of irritation directly after ingestion. Batteries stuck, including in the nose and ears, for over 2 hours can cause burns and serious complications.

Most commonly nickel-sized button batteries are the most hazardous as their size can allow them to become lodged in the throat and burn faster as a result.

However, there are measures that gift-givers and parents can take.

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Have you ever picked up your cell, looked at the battery life, and go, “But I just charged this thing. What gives?” It’s not just you. According to The Washington Post, the smartphones battery life is getting worse. And, chances are, you’re new and upgraded 2018 smartphone’s battery life is actually worse than older models.

Phone makers have claimed to have tackled this battle by including more-efficient processors, low-power modes, and artificial intelligence to manage app drain, but it’s no secret to the battery industry that the lithium-ion batteries in smartphones have hit a plateau.

So, what gives? According to Nadim Maluf, CEO of a firm that optimizes batteries called Qnovos, batteries improve at a very slow pace, about 5 percent per year. (more…)

Photo Credit: www.HydroQuebec.com

Hydro-Québec (an ECS institutional member) and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have announced a breakthrough in the lithium-ion battery materials field, publishing their research results in the Journal of Power Sources. Using a cathode made with new high voltage safe materials, the researchers have achieved a world first: building a 1.2 Ah lithium-ion cell with a voltage of 5 V.

“With the high voltage of this new cell, we can reach a very high energy density,” says Karim Zaghib, General Director of the Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage. “This highly desirable property can improve batteries used in a wide range of applications.” Army Research Laboratory scientists Jan Allen and Richard Jow, also inventors of this high voltage cathode material, believe that the high cell voltage can, in addition to enabling high energy density, improve the design of devices.

Lithium-ion batteries are widely used to power many electronic devices, including smartphones, medical devices and electric vehicles. Their high energy density, excellent durability and lightness make them a popular choice for energy storage. In response to the growing demand for their use in a wide range of products, there are many teams working to improve their storage capacity. In particular, there is great interest in developing new compounds that could increase energy storage capacity, stability and lifespan. That is why the innovation announced today has such a strong commercial potential.

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BatteryA collaborative team of researchers from Shinshu University in Japan have found a new way to curb some of the potential dangers posed by lithium ion batteries.

The team was led by Susumu Arai, a professor of the department of materials chemistry and head of Division for Application of Carbon Materials at the Institute of Carbon Science and Technology at Shinshu University.

These batteries, typically used in electric vehicles and smart grids, could help society realize a low-carbon future, according the authors. The problem is that while lithium could theoretically conduct electricity at high capacity, lithium also results in what is known as thermal runaway during the charge and discharge cycle.

“Lithium metal is inherently unsuitable for use in rechargeable batteries due to posing certain safety risks,” said Arai. “Repeated lithium deposition/dissolution during charge/discharge can cause serious accidents due to the deposition of lithium dendrites that penetrate the separator and induce internal short-circuiting.”

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BatteryWater-based rechargeable batteries could be one step closer to commercial viability, thanks to research from Empa. According to a new report, a team of researchers has successfully doubled the electrochemical stability of water with a special saline solution.

Energy storage is the backbone of many technological innovations. As researchers explore new ways to develop low-cost, safe batteries, the research team from Empa is looking to water to function as a battery electrolyte.

While a water-electrolyte offers many potential benefits such as low cost and high availability, it does have at least one major drawback: low chemical stability. At a voltage of 1.23 volts, a water cell supplies three times less voltage than a typical lithium-ion cell. While water-based batteries may not see an application in such technologies as electric vehicles, the team of researchers at Empa believe they could be utilized for stationary electricity storage applications.

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