Faster recharging batteries possible after new insights

Faster recharging batteries possible after new insights
Professor Saiful Islam. Credit: The Royal Society

Faster recharging lithium batteries could be developed after scientists figured out why adding charged metal atoms to tunnel structures within batteries improves their performance.

Rechargeable lithium batteries have helped power the 'portable revolution' in mobile phones, laptops and , and new generations of lithium batteries are being developed for electric vehicles and to store energy from wind and solar power.

Now the research groups of Professor Saiful Islam of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath, and Professor Reza Shahbazian-Yassar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, have gained important insights to help improve the performance of , published in the leading journal Nature Communications.

Storing electrical energy more quickly than current electrodes is important for future applications in portable electronics and electric vehicles.

It was recently discovered that that large metal ions such as potassium can improve charge storage in batteries, but it wasn't understood why this was the case.

The research teams used a powerful combination of structural experiments and computer simulations to unravel for the first time why adding charged potassium into tunnel-like structures of low-cost manganese oxide has a strong beneficial effect on the battery performance.

They discovered that adding positively charged ions increased how fast lithium moves within the tunnel structures, which is crucial to improving the charging of batteries.

Professor Islam said: "Understanding these processes is important for the future design and development of battery materials, and could lead to faster charging batteries that will benefit consumers and industry.

"Developing new materials holds the key to lighter, cheaper and safer batteries, including for which will help cut carbon emissions."

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More information: Yifei Yuan et al, The influence of large cations on the electrochemical properties of tunnel-structured metal oxides, Nature Communications (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13374
Journal information: Nature Communications

Provided by University of Bath
Citation: Faster recharging batteries possible after new insights (2017, January 18) retrieved 19 August 2019 from
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Jan 18, 2017
I do not see the improvements in ICE devices which can out-compete renewables now.

The cat is out of the bag in that there are too many EV startups now to keep them from taking over, starting with the smaller systems. The advantages are too obvious to ignore, with cheap travel, no oil changes or filters or leaks, no maintenance, really.

Now, with used EV batteries becoming available tor household use, I expect to see a reconditioned one in my garage in a year or so.

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