Magnesium Batteries: New Discovery

University of Houston researchers Yan Yao, left, Hui Dong and Yanliang Leonard Liang. Photo Credit: University of Houston

A new version of high-energy magnesium batteries has been discovered by researchers from the University of Houston and the Toyota Research Institute of America, according to Phys.org. The battery operates with limited electrolytes while using an organic electrode, allowing it to store and discharge much more energy than earlier magnesium batteries.

Yan Yao, an ECS member, UH Student Chapter faculty advisor, and an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UH, said the researchers identified chloride—in the commonly used electrolyte—as a contributor to magnesium batteries’ sluggish performance.

Yao, a principal investigator with the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, used the chloride-free electrolyte to test organic quinone polymer cathodes with a magnesium metal anode; the battery remaining stable through 2,500 cycles.

Magnesium batteries are particularly exciting as magnesium itself offers far more natural advantages over lithium. (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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Honda’s Battery Breakthrough

The search for the next level, new, and improved electric vehicle battery is an ongoing one. And it’s one Honda may have found. According to The Drive, the Japanese automaker claims to have developed a new battery chemistry called fluoride-ion that could outperform current lithium-ion batteries.

Honda says fluoride-ion batteries offer 10 times greater energy density, meaning more storage and range for electric vehicles, thanks to the low atomic weight of fluorine that makes fluoride-ion batteries’ increased performance possible. (more…)

Bentley Gives EVs the Red Light

High-end, high-class, and high-cost are all words synonymous with the word Bentley. The luxury car CEO Adrian Hallmark says he plans to keep it that way, and for that reason, he’s giving the inclusion of electric vehicles to the Bentley family the red light—for now.

Hallmark says battery technology has not evolved to the point where it would be possible to develop an ultraluxury electric vehicles, according to Tires and Parts. (more…)

Haodong Liu, recipient of the Battery Division Postdoctoral Associate Research Award Sponsored by MTI Corporation and the Jiang Family Foundation

Haodong Liu, a postdoc research fellow at UC San Diego, is the award winner of the Battery Division Postdoctoral Associate Research Award Sponsored by MTI Corporation and the Jiang Family Foundation for his work on “Stable Li Metal Anode through Designed Solution Chemistry and Electrode Architecture.” Liu was presented with the award at AiMES 2018 in Cancun, Mexico.

Liu says being recognized for his work has been an exciting experience, bringing recognition to his name and research within the battery field. However, it has also meant something more to him in particular.

“Since my citizenship is in China, and a lot of the scholarships here are only for the US citizens, this is a good chance for international postdocs to get awards and be recognized,” explains Liu. “ECS only cares about the quality of the work you’re doing instead of what’s your citizenship status. That’s why I really appreciate ECS.” (more…)

The Current State of Battery Research

By: Marca Doeff, ECS Battery Division Chair

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.

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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…)

Q&A with George E. Blomgren

George BlomgrenGeorge 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?

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Improving Lead Batteries

Photo Credit: Essential Energy Everyday

Lead batteries have been around 1859. They’ve changed our lives, giving us car batteries, standby batteries in case power outages, electric vehicles, and more. Still, despite all this progress, no one really understands the inner workings of lead batteries. According to Essential Energy Everyday, for the last century, lead battery manufacturers have invested much of their research in creating function and production, without fully understanding the underlying chemistry. However, that’s soon said to change as lead batteries are headed for a “high-tech makeover.”

A team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium, and Electric Applications have joined forces to realize the potential of a venerable battery technology.

Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science and ECS member, says this is a beautiful example of how synergy between industry and science can drive innovation. (more…)

MRS Webinar with Shirley MengThe Electrochemical Society and Materials Research Society are co-presenting a webinar on Frontiers in Solid State Batteries on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, from 1200-1330h ET.

ECS fellow, Shirley Meng, will be a presenter during the webinar. Jagjit Nanda of Oak Ridge National Laboratory will serve as the host for the webinar.

Webinar description

The advantages of solid state batteries were not fully recognized until the 1960s, with the discovery of beta-alumina, which led to the development of the commercially relevant high-temperature Na-S battery in the 1960s and the ZEBRA battery in the 1980s. The October issue of MRS Bulletin focuses on recent developments in solid ion-conductors and the various surface and interfacial challenges needed to be overcome for enabling solid-state batteries. (more…)

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