IIT Hyderabad Develops an Alternative for Typical Lithium-ion Batteries

Researchers at IIT Hyderabad have come up with an alternative for the conventional Lithium-ion batteries. It is a more sustainable and low-cost Dual carbon battery, which may find potential use in high voltage applications, sophisticated battery-run medical devices, regenerative braking systems in electric vehicles (EVs), and stationary grids. Finding options that are cheaper and more effective to the current lithium ion batteries has become a sought after target, thanks to the need to cut down on dependence on the metals involved in current lithium batteries. 

The all-new 5V Dual Carbon battery is developed at Electrochemical Energy Storage (EES) Lab at IIT Hyderabad, under the supervision of Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Dr. Surendra Kumar Martha, utilizing self-standing carbon fiber mats as both electrodes (cathode and anode). This new model sets aside the requirement of toxic, costly, and heavy transitional metals.  

Rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) need toxic and costly metals like cobalt, nickel, manganese, etc., for functioning. Concentration of Lithium and cobalt in a few places and high mining costs have made prices go up amd volatile markets in recent times. The price stability that large scale LIB packs used in EVs need has become a mjor issue for aspiring manufacturers. In the dual-carbon battery, both the electrodes consist of carbonaceous materials, and the ions from the electrolyte intercalate and de-intercalate into the electrode matrix.

According to the developing team, the novel dual carbon battery consisting of zero transition metal is environmentally benign. It may cut down the overall battery cost by 20-25% and is expected to curb the unpredictability in market price. The use of carbon as electrode active material as well as current collector replacing heavy metals brings in the aspects of lightness and flexibility. The fabricated 5.0 voltage (nominal voltage 4.6 V) cell provides an energy density of 100-watt hour per kilogram approximately and can be extended up to 150- watt-hour per kilogram with further modifications. This compares favourably , or at par with lithium batteries in the market currently.  

The head of the investigation team, Dr. Surendra Kumar Martha, says, “The study will be extrapolated to push the energy density limits further, and their broad vision includes introducing the dual carbon system as a cheaper LIB alternative to the Indian Market.” 

Recently in January, IIT Hyderabad associate professor of the department of chemical engineering and creative & advanced research, Chandra Sekhar Sharma, had developed a Lithium-CO2 battery, which many hope could power India’s space projects and the grand Mars Mission in 2024.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.

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