Next-Gen Lithium Batteries

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Scientists hope to leverage pure lithium metal to make next-gen batteries, and an advance from scientists in South Korea marks another step forward
Scientists hope to leverage pure lithium metal to make next-gen batteries, and an advance from scientists in South Korea marks another step forward

Scientists in South Korea have made a breakthrough in battery research that could help us bust through a key bottleneck in energy storage. The team’s advance overcomes a technical issue that has held back highly promising lithium-metal battery architecture and could pave the way for batteries with as much as 10 times the capacity of today’s devices.

The reason lithium-metal batteries hold so much promise is because of the excellent energy density of pure lithium metal. Scientists hope to swap out the graphite used for the anode in today’s lithium batteries for this “dream material,” though this comes with some complicated problems to solve.

One of the key issues relates to needle-like structures called dendrites, which form on the anode surface as the battery is charged. These penetrate the barrier between the anode and the battery’s other electrode, the cathode, and quickly cause the battery to short-circuit, fail, or even catch fire.

Much research in this area therefore centers on preventing the formation of dendrites, and we’ve seen some promising and creative solutions. Many of these focus on the formation of a protective interface between the anode and the battery’s electrolyte, which carries the charge back and forth between the electrodes as it cycles. A “battery butter,” special additives or even batteries that build their own protective layers are a few notable examples.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).