Lithium-ion batteries have almost all but one attractive property, which make them most suitable to power electric vehicles. This one pertains to the batteries being uncongenial to the environment, due to use of heavy and toxic metals. Meanwhile, extraction of these metals from the ground can impact the environment and their safe disposal is difficult. Besides, limited reserves of Cobalt and Lithium, both used for Lithium-ion batteries, is also a factor for their environmental impact.
A new discovery by researchers at York University, pertinent to environment uncongenial behavior of Lithium-ion batteries addresses this question. The discovery, however, does not impacts the performance of the battery. Its stability and storage capacity remains intact too. The team of researchers at Faculty of Science, including Professor Thomas Baumgartner, opine use of organic materials to be the way forward. And, for this, they are busy developing and testing new molecules. The objective is to find the right molecules that can replace rare metals currently in use.
Carbon-based Organic Material promising to replace Cobalt Electrodes
“To create sustainable batteries with high capabilities of high power, organic electrode materials are considered to be highly promising,” says lead researcher of the study. In this pursuit, the latest breakthrough is creation of carbon-based organic molecule to replace cobalt in electrodes. The new substance addresses the drawbacks of the inorganic material while keeping its performance intact.
For Lithium-ion batteries, positive electrodes made of organic material enables manufacturing, recycling, or disposing of these materials more environment friendly. The objective is to develop sustainable batteries that are stable and display capacity equally good, if not better than the ones made of inorganic material.
The research is available for access in the March issue of the publication Batteries & Supercaps – a ChemPubSoc journal.