Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH) researchers have revealed a novel method for increasing battery energy storage capacity tenfold. In addition to improving battery technology, this breakthrough has the potential to change the electric vehicle market itself.
Anode's Role in Batteries. The anode, a part of the battery that stores energy during the charging stage and discharges it during use, is essential to how batteries work. At the moment, most contemporary lithium batteries employ graphite as their primary anode material.
But some materials, like silicon, have a far higher intrinsic energy capacity than graphite, which could make them a better choice for designing effective batteries. But maintaining a battery that uses a silicon anode has always been difficult. One of the main problems is that silicon expands because of internal battery reactions, endangering the stability and security of the battery.
A Breakthrough. Professors Soojin Park and Youn Soo Kim of POSTECH have devised a way to address this persistent problem with Professor Jaegeon Ryu of Sogang University.
Their creative solution comprises creating a unique binding substance that can stop the expansion of a high-capacity silicon anode. What was the outcome? It’s a lithium battery with an astounding 10 times the capacity of similar batteries with a graphite anode.
This development means that an EV with a larger battery will have a greater driving range. More energy storage capacity for electric cars could level the playing field and make them as efficient as or even more so than gasoline-powered cars.
"The research holds the potential to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries through the incorporation of high-capacity anode materials, extending the driving range of electric vehicles," Professor Park said in remarks on the POSTECH website, highlighting the significant accomplishment.
"Silicon-based anode materials could potentially increase the driving range at least tenfold," he added, underscoring the revolutionary potential of silicon-based anodes.
As we approach a more environmentally friendly future, state-of-the-art battery technology will be at the front of this shift, putting us closer to a society that is less dependent on fossil fuels. And considering these latest events, that future is more likely than ever.