New Lithium-Air Battery On The Way: Electric Cars Could See Major Breakthrough

First Posted: Oct 30, 2015 02:07 PM EDT

Scientists have developed a new enhanced lithium-air battery, which has a high tolerance for water. With the use of advanced materials, the researchers were able to overcome several common barriers when it comes to developing lithium-air batteries, according to a study.

Lithium-air batteries can enable electric cars to run on the same range as cars with gasoline, but without bulky battery packs. However, a number of side reactions to electrolytes (electric current) have reduced the battery's full efficiency, according to a news release. The discharge particles can clog the small pores on the receiving electrolytes.

However, Tao Liu and fellow researchers found a way around that problem. They designed their battery around the production of lithium hydroxide, which is an inorganic compound with a white crystalline material. It is commonly used as a breathing gas in purification systems.

One of the main procedures was adding lithium iodide, a compound comprised of lithium and iodine, which reduced resistance. The researchers then used macroporous reduced graphene oxide, a compound of carbonoxygen hydrogen, as the receiving electrode. The large pores allowed a great amount of crystals to be discharged.  

In addition the researchers found that their new battery could get along with water, which is unusual for a typical lithium-air cell. The researchers reported that the battery could be charged repeatedly and there is a possibility of commercializing their new lithium-air battery. 

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