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The Honda Research Institute, Caltech & NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab Develop New Battery Chemistry

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【Summary】Scientists from the Honda Research Institute have collaborated with researchers at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop a breakthrough new battery chemistry that enables the use of materials with 10 times the energy density of current lithium-ion technology.

FutureCar Staff    Dec 07, 2018 5:43 PM PT
The Honda Research Institute, Caltech & NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab Develop New Battery Chemistry

TORRANCE, Calif., — Scientists from the Honda Research Institute have collaborated with researchers at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to develop a breakthrough new battery chemistry that enables the use of materials with higher energy density than current lithium-ion technology.

The collective team of scientists co-authored a new paper on the topic that was published in Science and is available here: http://science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.aat7070.

The joint study reports that the research team has opened new doors in the development of high energy-density batteries capable of meeting rapidly growing energy storage needs for electric vehicles by overcoming the current temperature limitations of fluoride-based battery (FIB) technology. The study demonstrated the room-temperature operation of fluoride-ion based energy cells.

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"Fluoride-ion batteries offer a promising new battery chemistry with up to ten times more energy density than currently available Lithium batteries," said Dr. Christopher Brooks, Chief Scientist, Honda Research Institute, and a co-author of the paper. "Unlike Li-ion batteries, FIBs do not pose a safety risk due to overheating, and obtaining the source materials for FIBs creates considerably less environmental impact than the extraction process for lithium and cobalt."

FIBs provide an attractive alternative to other types of potential high-energy battery designs such as those based on lithium- or metal hydride chemistries.

Due to the low atomic weight of fluorine, rechargeable batteries based on the element could offer up to 10 times the energy output over lithium-ion technologies. However, while FIBs are considered a strong contender for the "next-generation" of high-density energy storage devices, they are limited by their required temperature requirements.

Currently, a solid-state fluoride ion-conducting battery needs to operate at extremely high temperatures above 150 degrees Celsius to make the electrolyte fluoride-conducting. According to the paper's authors, these limitations in the electrolyte have presented a significant challenge for achieving low-temperature operating FIBs.

To overcome this, the research team found a method for creating a fluoride-ion electrochemical cell that can operate at room temperature. The scientists developed the electrolyte using dry fluoride salts dissolved in an organic, fluorinated ether solvent.

In the future, FIBs could power battery-electric vehicles, as well as next-generation power storage devices.


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