Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



ENERGY TECH
New material may help cut battery costs for electric cars, cellphones
by Staff Writers
Dallas TX (SPX) Jul 07, 2017


Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Seoul National University have designed a novel battery cathode material that offers a potentially lower-cost, more eco-friendly option to lithium-ion batteries. Their sodium-ion design, which retains the high energy density of a lithium-ion cathode, replaces the most of the lithium atoms (green) with sodium (yellow). The layered structure of the new material also incorporates manganese (purple) and oxygen (red). The research is published in the journal Advanced Materials. Credit University of Texas at Dallas

In the battle of the batteries, lithium-ion technology is the reigning champion, powering that cellphone in your pocket as well as an increasing number of electric vehicles on the road.

But a novel manganese and sodium-ion-based material developed at The University of Texas at Dallas, in collaboration with Seoul National University, might become a contender, offering a potentially lower-cost, more ecofriendly option to fuel next-generation devices and electric cars.

Battery cost is a substantial issue, said Dr. Kyeongjae Cho, professor of materials science and engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and senior author of a paper describing the new material in the journal Advanced Materials.

As manufacturers - and consumers - push for more electric vehicles (EVs), lithium production may have a hard time keeping up with increasing demand, Cho said. According to a recent report by the International Energy Agency, the global electric car stock surpassed 2 million vehicles in 2016 after crossing the 1 million mark in 2015. The report notes that, depending on the policy environment, there is a good chance that it will range between 9 million and 20 million by 2020 and between 40 million and 70 million by 2025.

In terms of cost savings in the EV battery, using sodium would be less expensive because sodium is more abundant, but it has some drawbacks.

"Lithium is a more expensive, limited resource that must be mined from just a few areas on the globe," Cho said. "There are no mining issues with sodium - it can be extracted from seawater. Unfortunately, although sodium-ion batteries might be less expensive than those using lithium, sodium tends to provide 20 percent lower energy density than lithium."

The energy density, or energy storage capacity, of a battery determines the run time of a device.

"We used our previous experience and thought about these issues - how can we combine these ideas to come up with something new to solve the problem?" Cho said.

A battery consists of a positive electrode, or cathode; a negative electrode, or anode; and an electrolyte in between. In a standard lithium-ion battery, the cathode is made of lithium, cobalt, nickel and oxygen, while the anode is made of graphite, a type of carbon. When the battery charges, lithium ions move through the electrolyte to the anode and attach to the carbon. During discharge, the lithium ions move back to the cathode and provide electric energy to run devices.

"There was great hope several years ago in using manganese oxide in lithium-ion battery cathodes to increase capacity, but unfortunately, that combination becomes unstable," Cho said.

In the design developed by Cho and his colleagues, sodium replaces most of the lithium in the cathode, and manganese is used instead of the more expensive and rarer elements cobalt and nickel.

"Our sodium-ion material is more stable, but it still maintains the high energy capacity of lithium," Cho said. "And we believe this is scalable, which is the whole point of our research. We want to make the material in such a way that the process is compatible with commercial mass production."

Based on their knowledge of the physics and chemistry of other experimental materials, the researchers attacked the problem with rational material design. They first ran computer simulations to determine the configuration of atoms that showed the most promise before making and testing the material in the lab.

Cho said his research is not just about coming up with a better battery. How the research was done is just as important and as interesting, he said.

"When Thomas Edison was trying to develop a light bulb, he tried thousands of different materials for the filament to see which ones worked," Cho said. "To solve very important engineering problems in society today, we need to develop lots of new materials - battery materials, pollution control materials and others. Edison was perfecting one item - the light bulb - but we have so many more technological needs. We don't have time to keep trying to accidentally find the solution."

Research paper

ENERGY TECH
CAS researchers develop selective electrocatalysts to boost direct methanol fuel cell performance
Beijing, China (SPX) Jul 03, 2017
A research group from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE), Chinese Academy of Sciences recently reported the development of a new technology to boost performance of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) using high-concentration methanol as fuel, shedding some light on the design of clean and affordable alternative energy sources for portable electric devices. When methanol, the fuel of ... read more

Related Links
University of Texas at Dallas
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

ENERGY TECH
Don't look down: glass bottom skywalk thrills in China

NASA Statement on National Space Council

Silicon-on-Seine: world's biggest tech incubator opens in Paris

India, Portugal Shake Hands on Space Cooperation

ENERGY TECH
After two delays, SpaceX launches broadband satellite for IntelSat

On the road to creating an electrodeless spacecraft propulsion engine

Dragon Splashes Down to Complete Resupply Mission

Ariane 5 launch proves reliability and flies new fairing

ENERGY TECH
Mars surface 'more uninhabitable' than thought: study

Mars Rover Opportunity continuing science campaign at Perseverance Valley

The Niagara Falls of Mars once flowed with lava

Russian Devices for ExoMars Mission to Be Ready in Fall 2017

ENERGY TECH
Chinese satellite Zhongxing-9A enters preset orbit

Chinese Space Program: From Setback, to Manned Flights, to the Moon

China prepares to launch second heavy-lift carrier rocket

China heavy-lift carrier rocket launch fails: state media

ENERGY TECH
HTS Capacity Lease Revenues to Reach More Than $6 Billion by 2025

SES Transfers Capacity from AMC-9 Satellite Following Significant Anomaly

Second launch doubles number of Iridium NEXT satellites in orbit to 20

OneWeb inaugurates production line Assembly, Integration, and Test of OneWeb satellites

ENERGY TECH
Sorting complicated knots

Engineers find way to evaluate green roofs

Nature-inspired material uses liquid reinforcement

Feel the heat, one touch a time

ENERGY TECH
NASA diligently tracks microbes inside the International Space Station

Why Does Microorganism Prefer Meager Rations Over Rich Ones

Complex Organic Molecules Found On "Space Hamburger"

Extreme Atmosphere Stripping May Limit Exoplanets' Habitability

ENERGY TECH
New Mysteries Surround New Horizons' Next Flyby Target

Mid-infrared images from the Subaru telescope extend Juno spacecraft discoveries

Earth-based Views of Jupiter to Enhance Juno Flyby

NASA's Juno Spacecraft to Fly Over Jupiter's Great Red Spot July 10




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement