Chinese researchers improve performance of water-based lithium-ion batteries


Eco Factor: Water-based lithium ion batteries for storing renewable energy.

Researchers have had a tough time enhancing the size of conventional lithium-ion batteries that are commonly used in laptops and mobile phones. With auto makers escalating efforts to better the performance of electric cars, storing energy efficiently becomes even more important. A research group from China has improved the performance of water-based lithium-ion batteries, which have great potential for large-scale applications such as storing the power from wind turbines and solar panels.

Current lithium-ion batteries contain toxic and flammable organic solvents, which pose a serious safety threat. Manufacturing these batteries is expensive and in case of overcharging or short-circuiting they can rupture or catch fire. Switching to a water-based electrolyte solves all safety issues, but till date these aqueous cells lose about 50 percent of their storage capacity after 100 recharge cycles.

The Chinese research team has tried to better the performance by removing oxygen from the system and using carbon-coated electrodes. The result is battery that can retains 90 percent of its capacity after being discharged and recharged over 1000 times.

Via: RSC

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