A Lithium-Ion Battery Now Gets 60% Charge in 5.6 Minutes

China-based researchers revamped the industry standard lithium-ion battery.

A team of China-based researchers who published their groundbreaking work on Science Advances completely transformed electric vehicle charging stations from something akin to full afternoon siestas to quick pitstops by revamping the standard lithium-ion battery.

For example, it’s well known that it takes 45 minutes on average to charge a lithium-ion battery within a Tesla to 80% from 40%. The bottleneck hampering this charging derives from the battery’s anode. So, when it comes to electric vehicle news, this is nothing short of extraordinary. 

During discharge, lithium ions shift from the anode (negative electrode) to the cathode (positive electrode) through an electrolyte separator. Historically, the anode was constructed first using coal, which was then shifted to graphite to prolong the charge. 

The Problem With Graphite in a Lithium-Ion Battery

Yet as energy demands increase and electric vehicle charging stations become more widespread, graphite fails to keep pace. In addition, the slurry of the graphite anode is typically disorganized and inefficient at passing electrical current. 

Therefore, our researchers conducted particle-level theoretical models redesigning and optimizing the spatial distributions for different sized particles while also considering electrode porosity. With their findings, they coated a standard graphite anode with copper and included copper nanowires into the slurry. Then by heating and cooling the anode, this slurry further compressed, increasing its efficiency. 

By using this copper anode in place of standard, disorderly graphite, they increased the charge efficiency by roughly 50%. Their control battery reached 40% charge in 5.6 minutes, whereas their copper-infused battery reached 60% in the same time. In 11.4 minutes, their battery reached 80%. 

While the solution seems simple—heating and compressing while using copper—the ramifications remain profound. This eliminates the need for gas stops for most urban and semi-urban commuters and further paves the way for mass EV adoption. 

design and development by covio.fr