Battery Technologies: The Present and the Future
Today, there is an increasing likeability and adoption of electric vehicles and battery-powered applications around the world. Therefore, a huge sum has been poured into the research and development of better battery technologies. This is necessary because energy storage devices like batteries must keep up in terms of efficiency with the devices they power.
What is the Battery?
A battery is a pack of a number of cells that store energy in the form of electrochemical energy and can be used to power various electrical devices. We need to supply external electrical energy in order to reverse the chemical reaction inside the cell for rechargeable batteries. Likewise, the components of an electrochemical cell include a negative electrode, a positive electrode, electrolyte, separator, and current collectors.
Battery Technologies: Present Status
Li-ion batteries have become quite popular in portable electronics due to their higher energy density, higher specific energy, and the abundance of Lithium metal on earth. The Li-ions formed are inserted in the crystalline lattice through a process known as intercalation. In simple terms, the transfer of Li between electrodes depends on the intercalation mechanism rather than the redox mechanism.
The present state of the art Li-ion battery technologies ensures better power efficiency for each cell. They can be discharged and recharged a number of times before the cell reaches the end of life. Likewise, recent advancements in Battery Management System have considerably increased the safety and stability of the battery pack. Furthermore, they have lower self-discharge rates compared to other batteries which give them an advantage.
The current Li-ion battery technologies are far better than they were before. However, they have not yet reached optimum improvement and there is still a lot to do. We must understand that today, people are much wary of how they utilize their time. Spending hours on charging devices and cars can diminish productivity and cause irritation. The charging time is not generally limited by the currently available battery technologies but by the power supply system from the grid. However, battery capacity and performance are highly dependent on the existing battery technologies.
Future Battery Technologies
Future Battery Technologies should ensure and take into account the following factors:
- It must have enhanced battery performance and increased capacity.
- The batteries must be recyclable to help maintain environmental sustainability.
- They should be able to upscale to satisfy commercial needs.
- It must address newer algorithms to prolong battery life.
- It must be smart to increase safety and reduce internal cell ageing.
- The materials used to build the battery should be abundant and easily available.
Battery chemistry ultimately means better battery performance and capacity. Let’s see what the future for Lithium Battery chemistries holds.
In the current Li-ion batteries, during discharge, lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode. This is done by using the liquid electrolyte present in the cell. However, in all-solid-state batteries, the electrolyte present is a solid compound that facilitates the movement of lithium ions. Likewise, solid-state electrolytes are better in terms of higher thermal stability, higher safety, increased durability, and simplicity. Furthermore, if higher ionic conductivity can be ensured, this technology is very promising.
The Li-air battery is a kind of metal-air battery and has gained attention due to its very high theoretical energy density. In this battery, lithium oxidizes at the anode and oxygen reduces at the cathode to induce a current flow. Likewise, it also has a very high specific energy and is generally comparable to the specific energy of gasoline. However, its design faces a lot of challenges in cathode selection, electrochemistry, and stability.
There are other post-lithium battery chemistries that hold the potential future as advanced battery technologies.
Na-ion batteries are similar to Li-ion batteries. However, they use sodium ions as charge carriers. These batteries deliver very high specific power, cost less, and ensure high safety. Likewise, the materials used are abundant on earth and these batteries are highly efficient. However, it is a less developed technology and is undergoing research to make it commercially feasible and viable.
From this blog, we have now become familiar with the present state of battery technologies and what the future holds for this exciting field.
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