View Full Version : Another Li-ion battery article

27 January 2013, 1626
This one comes from the AP, datelined "Washington" and was written by Seth Borenstein. Its title is "Tinkering with lithium ion batteries". It is a long article that covers Li-ion batteries in general and is not terribly positive in its comments. A couple of things caught my attention:

Vince Battagglia, a battery scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab says: "We need to leapfrog the engineering of making batteries. We've got to find the next big thing."

None of the 10 experts who talked to the AP said they know what that big thing will be yet, or when it will come.

Carnegie Mellon University materials science professor, Jay Whitacre, says "If you crack it...it'll change the world". You can't get around the fundamental thing is that lithium ion batteries are stuffed full of flammable liquid."

The article says that the Obama administration has spent more than $2 billion to jump-start the advanced battery industry, including setting up what some experts say is a mini-Manhattan Project for batteries.

To make the next break-through, researchers will have to master complex chemistry, expensive manufacturing, detailed engineering, a variety of different materials, lengthy testing, stringent safety standards and giant cost problems. It involves dealing with liquids and solids, metals and organic chemicals, and things that are in between, said Glenn Amatucci, director of the Energy Storage Research Group at Rutgers University. Mr. Amatucci goes on to say: "We're dealing with a system that you can imagine is almost alive, It's almost breathing. Trying to understand what's happening within these batteries is incredibly complex".

M. Stanley Whittingham, director of the Northeast Center for Chemical Energy Storage says: "If you want high storage, you can't get high power. People are expecting more than what is possible".

Battery experts are split over what's next. Some think the lithium ion battery can be tinkered with to get major efieicncy and storage improvements. Amatucci said he thinks we can get two to three times more energy out of future lithium ion batteries, while others said minor chemical changes can do even more.

The man responsible for the 1979 breakthrough that led to the first commercial lithium ion battery in 1991. 90-year old John Goodenough (?) will receive the National Medal of Science at the White House next month

22 April 2017, 2031
An update on this:

Back in late February John Goodenough announced just such a breakthrough in battery technology. The new tech can use Lithium or Sodium and hold at least 3X the density of current Lithium batteries. They were very robust during fast charge and repeated charging because they use a glass (not liquid) electrolyte and cannot form power-sucking dendtrites as the alkali metal moves from anode to cathode. A good article from March 17 is here:


And here is an update in an online Q&A from April 19:


There are some details in there that might interest readers on ElMoto. I will summarize some of them:

Lower temperature operation: -20C (-4F)
Less heat generation during charg and discharge
Faster to charge
More recharge cycles with less degredation (maybe almost zero)
Cheaper to manufacture
Easier to recycle
Goodenough estimates three years for a large battery manufacturer to have a working factory

23 April 2017, 0632
Just like the last 100 years...we are still waiting for the battery to match gas. It isn't going to happen. The physics don't allow it. But we can get close enough. This guy runs a battery research lab. He is not as hopeful as most of us. But then, he knows what he is talking about.



He, like most researchers, are puzzled, but hopeful, for the performance claims of the new Goodenough battery. If it is actually working as claimed, there is some new/unexpected stuff going on. I certainly hope it works. As much as I appreciate current li-ion batteries, using them, you know all the frustrating limitations.

23 April 2017, 1058
Man! I just read the Slashdot Q&A with Goodenough. He sure sounds confident. Better sell that oil stock. :-/