July 8, 2020 by No Comments

Good News! Researchers at Stanford University have created a new electrolyte that could boost the performance of Lithium metal batteries. Most people are familiar with Lithium-ion batteries as they exist in just about all of our technology – cellphones, laptops, tablets, cars etc. These batteries have a limited amount of energy density that their structure will allow. Lithium metal batteries, by contrast, are lighter and would allow for more energy per weight and volume. Lithium metal is so efficient that they are able to hold roughly twice as much energy per kilogram as Lithium-ion. This efficiency is key to the expanding electric vehicle industry where size and weight play a big role. The new electrolyte, FDMB, addresses a large issue that plagued lithium metal batteries in the past – combustibility – the batteries would catch fire and fail. FDMB can also be produced in bulk, for cheap, and has tested incredible performance so far in the lab. Lithium metal batteries used to sustain 30 charge cycles before failing. The new battery withstood 420 cycles and still retained 90% of its initial charge. 
Why is this good?
As our technology becomes more powerful it also uses more energy. We have seen the evolution of the smartphone and laptop over the last 15 years, and the importance that battery life has played in its maturation. The electric vehicle industry is in its relative infancy as it carves out a growing piece of an enormous market. No piece of technology is more important to electric vehicles than the performance of it battery. The better the battery, the more confidence the public will have in welcoming electric vehicles into their garage or driveway. 
See the video below from Stanford that shows the electrolyte combustibility test:

Source:  Stanford University Full Story
Stanford University. “New battery electrolyte may boost the performance of electric vehicles.” 22 June 2020.