Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Battery Research: Bionics Reduces Filling Time

18.10.2011
KIT Technology Significantly Reduces Production Costs of Lithium-ion Cells

The latest development by engineers of KIT is inspired by nature. To fill the porous electrodes of lithium-ion batteries more rapidly with liquid electrolyte, they use a physicochemical effect that also provides water transport in trees. The new process increases the throughput of battery production and reduces investment costs. This and other innovations will be presented by KIT at the eCarTec International Electromobility Fair in Munich (hall A5, stand 323) from October 18 to 20.

The electrodes inside modern batteries are as porous as a sponge. Unlike household sponges, however, pore size is in the micrometer range. As a result, the electrode has a very large surface area and provides lots of space for the chemical processes during electric charge and discharge. This is necessary for developing batteries for electric vehicles that can cover large distances and be recharged rapidly. “But the pores have to be filled completely with the electro-lyte for optimized operation,” explains Dr. Wilhelm Pfleging from KIT. The liquid electrolyte is the transport medium, in which the charged ions can diffuse between anode and cathode in the battery. “Without electrolyte, there is no charge equalization inside and no electric current flow outside.” The materials used in conventional high-energy batteries for automotive industry, however, show poor wetting of the electrode surface by the liquid electrolyte.

Consequently, much time and expenditure in battery production have been spent so far for making the electrolyte move into the smallest pore, if possible, and for maximizing battery performance. The liquid is forced to enter the material by expensive and time-consuming vacuum or storage processes at elevated temperatures. “Our new process allows reduction of this time span from several hours down to a few minutes,” confirms Pfleging. To achieve this amazing effect, he relies on nature. By a mechanico-chemical tech-nology, the electrodes are modified such that the electrolyte is sucked into the battery as water is sucked into high trees. As a re-sult, the electrolyte spreads very rapidly over the complete material and performance data of batteries based on this principle are much better.

“This novel electrode modification drastically reduces the technical expenditure and production times needed for filling lithium-ion cells with electrolyte,” acknowledges Andreas Gutsch. Under the Compe-tence E project, he coordinates the activities of more than 250 scientists at KIT to utilize the large innovation potential of a number of partial improvements and to further develop the entire system. “Now, an interdisciplinary team of physicists, chemists, materials researchers, and process engineers has succeeded in making an important step towards low-cost batteries.” A patent has already been applied for. The process is planned to be integrated in the production lines of battery manufacturers as quickly as possible. “We are pushing licensing to close the innovation gap between development and industry as rapidly as possible. Several renowned companies have already asked for license contracts. At KIT, we are conducting excellent research for application, not for the drawer.”

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a public corporation according to the legislation of the state of Baden-Württemberg. It fulfills the mission of a university and the mission of a national research center of the Helmholtz Association. KIT focuses on a knowledge triangle that links the tasks of research, teaching, and innovation.

For further information, please contact:
Kosta Schinarakis
PKM, Themenscout
Tel.: +49 721 608-41956
Fax: +49 721 608-43568
E-Mail:schinarakis@kit.edu

Monika Landgraf | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.kit.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Six-legged robots faster than nature-inspired gait
17.02.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Did you know that IR heat plays a central role in the production of chocolates?
14.02.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>