With the surging demand for lithium-ion batteries amidst limited lithium reserves, the scientific community is searching for alternatives to lithium technology. In a bid for this, a team of researchers from D. Mendeleev University and Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics have fabricated and tested new polymer type cathode substances for lithium dual-ion batteries.
The tests revealed that the new cathodes can work through up to 25,000 operating cycles and charge in a couple of seconds, thereby outdoing lithium-ion batteries in performance. In addition, the cathodes can find use to produce relatively inexpensive potassium dual-ion batteries. The findings of the study is published in the Energy Technology.
In fact, worldwide, electricity consumption grows each year, and, with this, the demand for energy storage solutions because many devices function in autonomous mode. Nonetheless, lithium-ion batteries generate enormous energy, meanwhile, show fairly high charge and discharge rates and storage capacity per unit mass. This makes lithium-ion batteries a popular storage medium in electric transport, electronics, and global power grids. For example, Australia is releasing a series of lithium-ion battery storage projects on a large scale to manage excess wind and solar energy.
Dependency on Congo for cobalt could shoot up its price tremendously
Having said that, if lithium-ion batteries continue to be produced in ever-increasing quantities, lithium reserves in the world would exhaust. Meanwhile, since, Congo accounts for 60% cobalt production for lithium-ion battery cathodes, cobalt prices may shoot up tremendously.
This goes for lithium too as water consumption in the mining of lithium poses great challenge for the environment. To address this, researchers are looking for new storage devices that rely more on accessible materials, and at the same time, are based on same operating principles that of lithium-ion batteries.