The workshop was initiated by Argonne National Laboratory Argonne, USA.
Li-ion batteries play a critical rule in modern day technologies, but their energy density is rapidly approaching the maximum practically achievable value based on the known cathode and anode materials. Developing the next generation lithium batteries with an energy density significantly higher than 300 Wh/kg, and costs less than $100/kWh, is a significant challenge for the scientific community. This seminar will discusses the requirements and practical technical approaches we identified to address this grand challenge. In particular, we will discuss the detailed cell level requirements and parameters for next generation Li-S, high Li- Ni NMC and redox battery systems, and the scientific challenges and approaches, including, enabling direct utilization of lithium metal anode with high efficiency, dendrite free lithium metal deposition, high utilization of the cathode materials with high active materials loading and minimum waste, and cell level optimization of validation of the materials properties and control of interfaces reactions across the whole cells. New concepts in emerging multifunctional materials and electrolytes will also be discussed.
The large-scale commercialization of new energy storage technologies is essential to the development of electric vehicles, as well as to distributed renewable electric power generation and consumer electronics. Energy storage, which should help mitigate the issues of pollution, global warming and fossil-fuel shortage, is becoming more important than ever, and Li-ion batteries are now the technology of choice to develop renewable energy technology and electric vehicles. Given the importance, continual innovation within a broad range of science is necessary to improve the variety of energy storage applications in both developed and developing markets.
From an industrial point of view, lithium has been described as the “oil of the future” or “the new gold rush” and the demand for lithium could exceed supply in 2020 by 25%. At that point, the world is expected to need over 380,000 tons of lithium carbonate and considering that the demand in 2014 was close to 190,000 tons, that is a 100% growth in demand over a six-year period and much of that growth will come from batteries. The lithium raw material in a Li-ion battery is only a fraction of one cent per watt, or less than 1 percent of the battery cost. A $10,000 battery for a plug-in hybrid contains less than $100 worth of lithium.
What should Chile and the rest of the so-called lithium triangle do to take advantage of this precious mineral resource?
Conventional Li-ion batteries have made progress for HEV applications. However, durability with the PHEV duty cycle and the technology’s ultimate cost and safety remain challenges. To achieve a very high all-electric drive range, a new battery system with advanced high-capacity cathode materials and stabilized high-capacity anode is needed. We disclose strategies to significantly increase the energy density of lithium batteries through developing high-energy cathode material coupled with high-voltage electrolyte.
In the late 1980’s a number of universities and companies and were actively involved efforts to develop and commercialize rechargeable lithium metal batteries. Unfortunately, the formation of high surface area lithium associated with the inefficient stripping and plating of lithium metal in liquid electrolytes doomed the commercial prospects for these battery systems. Not surprisingly, battery developers looked for alternative solutions for the rechargeable battery market, leading ultimately to the commercial introduction of Li-ion technology in 1991. Although Li-ion battery technology has benefited from steady incremental improvements since that time, the market demand for the next generation of disruptive battery technology remains strong. Over the past several years R&D efforts focused on next generation battery technology have covered a broad spectrum of alternative anodes and cathodes as well as the possibility of all solid-state structures and it is not yet clear which of these strategies will lead to commercial success. With regards to lithium-based technologies, there is little doubt that replacing the carbon anode in Li-ion cells with a lithium metal electrode that exhibits highly efficient cycling and safe behavior would lead to a dramatic increase in energy density (Wh/l and Wh/kg). Attempts to solve the Li metal cycling problem have included the use of ionic liquids, polymer electrolytes, gel polymer electrolytes, and even combinations of ionic liquids with polymer electrolytes, but it is unclear why any of these approaches should fundamentally stop the formation and propagation of lithium dendrites, and to the best of our knowledge, they do not. Polymer electrolytes have insufficient mechanical strength to prevent dendrite growth. Based on a careful analysis of the literature and our own internal research and development on protected lithium electrodes, we believe that the solution to the Li metal dendrite problem lies in the use of dense, highly conductive inorganic membranes. To date, the only commercial examples of high cycle life lithium metal batteries are thin-film cells made through sequential sputter deposition, and these cells demonstrate more than 10,000 cycles to 100% depth of discharge (although at uA/cm2 capacities). In this presentation we will examine a number of development paths for solid-state anodes, as well as the evolution from Li-ion to safe, rechargeable Li metal batteries.