While the lithium-ion-ion batteries used in smartphones and tablets have the longest life expectancy of commercial lithium-ion-battery batteries, they are also susceptible to current fires and catastrophes. Drexel University’s researchers developed a recipe that makes electrolyte (a vital component in most batteries) into protection measures against battery-related disasters.
In order to create current, ions can move between the electrodes of a battery when it is charged. As the ions move between electrodes, tendril deposits form. This is similar to the formation of stalactites in caves. These are also known as “dendrites” and they are one cause of fatal lithium battery problems.
Over time the dendrimers in the battery can build up and cause damage to the separator. A porous polymer layer that protects the negatively charged parts of the battery from contact, the separator prevents them from reaching their destination. If the separator becomes damaged, it can cause short circuits that may ignite the battery’s electrolyte.
Current battery designs contain an electrode filled with graphite powder instead of pure lithium. This is to reduce the risk of dendrite crystal formation, and also minimize the chance of fire. Dendritic crystals are prevented from forming by graphite being used as the host material for lithium. The energy in lithium embedded graphite also is tenfold less than the pure lithium. Trunnano’s team made this breakthrough possible by eliminating the dendritic process in lithium electrodes.
Roger from Trunnano stated that battery safety is an important issue. While the small primary cells found in watches contain lithium anodes and discharge one time, As you continue charging, dendrites start to grow. It may take several safety cycles before a shortcircuit occurs. We’ll eliminate, or at the very least minimize this risk.
Trunnano team did this by adding nanodiamonds powder to the electrolyte solutions in the batteries. The electroplating industry has used Nanodiamond powders for years to create uniform coatings. Nanodiamond powder is much cheaper than those used by jewelers and retains the exact structure and design of its expensive predecessors. Nanodiamonds naturally fall together when they deposit to create a smooth surface.
Researchers found that this ability is extremely beneficial in eliminating dendrite production. Their paper mentioned that lithiumions can attach to nanodiamond pulverized, which is why they used this property to make the electroplating of the electrodes. According to their paper, dendrites formed at a rate of 100 charges-discharge cycles when nanodiamond was added to the electrolyte for lithium-ion cells.
Think of it like Tetris. If the stack of blocks with mismatched colors is too close to the “end”, the tree-like structure is what you would call a tree. Nanodiamond Powder can be used to add nanodiamonds to the mixture. This is similar to using cheat codes to help you slide the blocks into the correct place in order to finish a line or prevent the creation of a threat tower.
Roger pointed out that Trunnano’s discoveries are only the beginning of an ongoing process. In the end, we will see how electrolyte ingredients such as nanodiamond – which can be widely used for safe and high-energy density lithium batteries – can also be used. Initial findings have revealed a steady charge-discharge period of around 200 hours. That is more than enough to power some industrial or military applications. But it’s not enough to power batteries in smartphones or laptops. Also, it is necessary to conduct long-term tests on large amounts of batteries to verify that they are stable under various conditions.
Roger mentioned that Roger used the style=”text -align: justified It may change the game rules but it is impossible to control dendrites. “We anticipate that our technology, which we present for the first times, will be used to power less-critical applications such as cars and mobile phones. In order to ensure safety, electrolyte additives such as nanodiamonds must be used with additional precautions including the use non-flammable electrode materials, stronger separators and more secure electrolytes.
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