Purdue University Creates Safer Solid-State Lithium-Ion Batteries

Highlights :

  • The new batteries are created from new composite materials.
  • The new battery shows excellent thermal stability up to around 330 degrees Celsius.
Purdue University Creates Safer Solid-State Lithium-Ion Batteries

Indiana-based Purdue University has said that its engineers are making one of the most-used power sources safer and more efficient. High-voltage, solid-state lithium-ion batteries are the go-to power source for high-end technologies like electric and hybrid vehicles, wearable devices, pacemakers, radio-frequency identification systems and more. One of their most dramatic drawbacks is that they often explode when damaged.

A team led by Vilas Pol, a Purdue professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering of Purdue University, has developed a new composite material that is safer to use in solid-state lithium-ion batteries than traditional solid polymer electrolyte, or SPE, technologies.

Purdue University said that the new and patent-pending composite material improves upon traditional SPE materials in several ways. First, it has a wide voltage window of around 4.8 volts. The optimized ionic conductivity is of around 2.4*10^4 microsiemens. The new battery shows excellent thermal stability up to around 330 degrees Celsius.

Purdue University said that the new battery exhibits stability to cell damage, leading to a huge increase in safety. Pol said traditional SPE materials have other drawbacks.

“They have poor thermal stability, which can cause battery thermal runaway and lead to catastrophic firing,” Vilas Pol said. “Their ionic conductivity is limited to low temperatures, which can reduce energy efficiency and lifetime. And low-energy-density batteries can cause quick energy depletion and short operating times of devices, considering the limited space for a battery in electronics or electric vehicles.”

The professor added, “We have further developed advanced electrolytes with fire-retardant molecules as a quasi-solid-state battery, enhancing the lithium-ion battery safety.”

The Purdue University team has continued research to make the material even safer via electrolyte composite optimization, battery overcharging, and nail penetration and thermal abuse testing.

The Purdue University research has been published in Chemical Engineering Journal. The University disclosed the innovation to the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, which has applied for a patent on the intellectual property. It also wants industry partners to collaborate to further develop the battery innovation.

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