Researchers at the University of York have discovered a way to make lithium batteries more environmentally friendly while preserving performance, stability and storage capacity.
Using organic materials is the way to go . And now we are closer to it.
Lithium-ion batteries use toxic and heavy metals that can affect the environment when extracted from the ground and are difficult to dispose of safely. Cobalt is one of those heavy metals, used in battery electrodes. Organic materials could be a good substitute.
At the moment, they are developing and testing new molecules to find the right ones to replace the rare metals currently in use.
His latest breakthrough is the creation of a new carbon-based organic molecule that can replace the cobalt that is now used in cathodes or positive electrodes in lithium-ion batteries. The new material addresses the shortcomings of inorganic material while maintaining performance .
The material has a voltage of up to 3.5 volts , like current batteries. They have also shown that this material is stable in long-term operation with the ability to load and unload for 500 cycles.
If one of the disadvantages of inorganic electrodes is that they generate significant heat during charging and require limited discharge speeds for safety reasons, this new molecule addresses that deficiency.
The next step is to further improve capacity. The team of researchers is currently developing the next generation of molecules that promise to increase current capacity .