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…)

30 Under 30 in Energy

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.

Meghana Bollimpalli

Meghana Bollimpalli/Credit: Forbes

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…)

The 2018 San Francisco Section Daniel Cubicciotti Student Award Goes to Yuzhang Li!

Yuzhang Li is a PhD student working with Professor Yi Cui on next-generation energy storage technologies at Stanford University. His research approach seeks to tackle problems from both an applied and fundamental perspective, which is necessary for the development of high energy density batteries. (more…)

Raymond Smith

Raymond Smith, recipient of the ECS Norman Hackerman Young Author Award

Raymond Smith was presented with the Norman Hackerman Young Author Award for his paper on “Multiphase Porous Electrode Theory” published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society. The award recognizes the best paper published by young authors or co-authors in JES the prior year.

Smith, who holds a PhD in chemical engineering from MIT and works as a senior engineer at Tesla, said he was blown away when he heard he was nominated for the award.

“Being in the community and engaging in this way has been special,” says Smith, who was presented with the award at AiMES 2018 in Cancun, Mexico. “Coming to the meeting has provided great motivation.”

His paper aimed to unify work that his team and other teams have done in the field in order to highlight connections that weren’t obvious before.
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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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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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Deadline for Submitting Abstracts
December 28, 2018
Submit today!

Topic Close-up #2

Symposium A04: Battery Student Slam 3

Symposium Focus: This special symposium is dedicated to students working on energy storage and energy conversion. In the student slam, we offer an opportunity for students to present flash oral presentations of their work in a 10-minute time slot. All students enrolled at any valid degree-granting institution may submit an abstract describing the presentation. Of particular interest are new materials and designs, performance studies, and modeling of all types of batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells, including aqueous, non-aqueous, polymer electrolytes, solid electrolytes, and flow systems. We strongly encourage students to submit their papers to this symposium instead of other symposia sponsored by the Battery Division at this meeting. (more…)

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