Batteries—they’re all around us, from everyday items like cellphones and laptops to life-saving medical devices and environmentally-friendly electric vehicles. So, who are the people behind the batteries that continue to impact and improve our daily lives?
ECS is hosting a series of webinars presented by distinguished speakers this June. Join us! Speakers include Harry Atwater from the California Institute of Technology, Arumugam Manthiram from the University of Texas at Austin, and Paul Kenis from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Topics include batteries, energy, carbon, and more. Considering attending? Learn more about what you can expect to hear about from our presenters! (more…)
“Good enough” are just words in his last name, but not ones John B. Goodenough seems to live by. The 97-year-old, widely referred to as the “father of the lithium-ion batteries,” continues to awe the battery field. According to IEEE Spectrum, the 2019 Nobel Prize winner recently co-developed a rapid-charging, non-flammable, glass battery.
The high capacity battery charges in “minutes rather than hours,” according to Maria Helena Braga, professor of engineering at the University of Porto in Portugal, who worked with Goodenough to develop the solid state lithium rechargeable which uses a glass doped with alkali metals as the battery’s electrolyte. In addition, the solid state electrolyte is not flammable and preforms in both cold and hot weather. (more…)
ECS’s Detroit Section is proud to present guest speaker Naoki Ota at its September section meeting. He will speak on:
“Lithium-Ion Batteries: Semi-Solid Electrode Technology—Next Generation Product / Manufacturing Platform for Lithium Ion”
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…)
Marca Doeff, a staff scientist in the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and chair of the ECS Battery Division, discusses the future of batteries. Doeff covers advancements and developments, notable contributors and leaders, corporate sponsors and supporters, upcoming meetings and awards, all within the battery field.
What are a few current areas of battery research the division is focusing on?
Anything having to do with lithium-ion batteries, since they are turning out to be the real workhorses of the battery world. While the chemistry is fairly mature at this point, there is still a lot of work going on in silicon anodes, trying to find better cathode materials, and improving electrolytes.
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…)
George E. Blomgren is the author of “The Development and Future of Lithium Ion Batteries,” the most-downloaded Journal of The Electrochemical Society paper since April 2017. To put this in perspective, Blomgren’s article has had 26,817 downloads this year. That is over 4.4 times the average amount received by the next nine most-downloaded JES papers for this year. Since its publication in December 2016, Blomgren’s paper has been downloaded a total of 53,575 times.
We decided to revisit the man with the incredible stats, and ask, how did you do it?
According to an article in AXIOS written by Eric Wachsman, director of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute at the University of Maryland, founder of Ion Storage Systems, and 3rd vice president of the ECS board of directors, in June alone, Volkswagen invested $100 million in QuantumScape, a solid state battery startup. And now, the car company is considering building a factory in Europe to produce solid state batteries, a next-generation battery technology, to power their electric vehicles. Volkswagen isn’t alone. Solid-electrolyte batteries are getting international attention from companies like Toyota, Nissan, Dyson, and BMW, who’ve all made similar investments. (more…)
In 1888, German inventor Andreas Flocken created what is widely considered the world’s first electric car. According to The Battery Issue, recently published by The Verge, the 900-pound vehicle drove at the top speed of nine miles per hour, coming to a halt after a two and a half hour test ride. Although it was considered a success, it wasn’t entirely. The car’s battery, sustainably charged with water power, had died.
Today, nearly 130 years, German carmakers are still having trouble with their batteries – specifically with battery cells. As a result, car companies are relying on suppliers from China, Korea, and Japan for the highly needed component.
“Cells can be a major technology differentiator and cells are the by far most costly part of the battery pack,” says Martin Winter, a professor of materials science, energy, and electrochemistry at the University of Münster and ECS Battery Division and Europe Section member. Winter says a large scale production of battery cells by European or German companies will be crucial in order to take part in the “enormous and rapidly growing market.”