Ushering in New Elements for Better Batteries

By Energy CIO Insights | Tuesday, February 26, 2019

With lithium-ion technology in batteries reaching a standstill, high entropy crystals seem to show promising results in battery energy storage technology, with increased capacity when compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. Magnesium chromium oxide could be the future in this.

Among all of the important aspects, a battery’s storage capacity and its cycling stability are vital. Due to the high stability, a whole new type of material called high entropy oxides (HEO) is expected to show considerable improvements. There is the added benefit of customizing the electrochemical properties of an HEO by using different components. The remarkable features of HEO are a result of entropy stabilization. HEOs are complex oxides that have five or more different types of metal cation’s in equal amounts and exhibit a single phase crystal structure.  Scientists have used HEO to produce electrodes that have survived more than 500 charge cycles without considerable degradation of capacity. The considerably different elements in the crystal structures form a joint lattice and rearrange to the position without any command. This disorder is referred to as high entropy which stabilizes the material, as it impairs the migration of defects within the lattice.

Few Battery and Energy Storage Solution Providers (Enevate, INCELL International - Smart Lithium, Inventus Power)

Lithium-ion batteries were introduced in the 80s. They now power everything from laptops to power tools to electric cars. Regardless of all the improvements in the manufacturing and engineering of these batteries, they are still unable to meet the necessary standards of power and energy demands of most of the emerging new devices. There are various advantages involving a lithium-ion battery. Its energy density is very high, which is a chief advantage. With the necessity for mobile batteries to last longer between cycles, a high-density battery is preferred.

Lithium-ion cells self-discharge at a prolonged rate when compared to that of other rechargeable cells. They do not require any priming for their initial charge. These batteries do not need maintenance to ensure their performance when compared to that of Ni-Cad batteries, which require periodic discharge to make sure there are no symptoms of memory effect. Lithium-ion batteries come in all shapes and sizes with varying needs. While some provide high current density for consumer electronic devices, others provide high current levels which are ideal for electric vehicles and power tools.

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