Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MIT powers up new battery for hybrid cars

16.02.2006


Researchers at MIT have developed a new type of lithium battery that could become a cheaper alternative to the batteries that now power hybrid electric cars.



Until now, lithium batteries have not had the rapid charging capability or safety level needed for use in cars. Hybrid cars now run on nickel metal hydride batteries, which power an electric motor and can rapidly recharge while the car is decelerating or standing still.

But lithium nickel manganese oxide, described in a paper to be published in Science on Feb. 17, could revolutionize the hybrid car industry - a sector that has "enormous growth potential," says Gerbrand Ceder, MIT professor of materials science and engineering, who led the project.


"The writing is on the wall. It’s clearly happening," said Ceder, who said that a couple of companies are already interested in licensing the new lithium battery technology.

The new material is more stable (and thus safer) than lithium cobalt oxide batteries, which are used to power small electronic devices like cell phones, laptop computers, rechargeable personal digital assistants (PDAs) and such medical devices as pacemakers.

The small safety risk posed by lithium cobalt oxide is manageable in small devices but makes the material not viable for the larger batteries needed to run hybrid cars, Ceder said. Cobalt is also fairly expensive, he said.

The MIT team’s new lithium battery contains manganese and nickel, which are cheaper than cobalt.

Scientists already knew that lithium nickel manganese oxide could store a lot of energy, but the material took too long to charge to be commercially useful. The MIT researchers set out to modify the material’s structure to make it capable of charging and discharging more quickly.

Lithium nickel manganese oxide consists of layers of metal (nickel and manganese) separated from lithium layers by oxygen. The major problem with the compound was that the crystalline structure was too "disordered," meaning that the nickel and lithium were drawn to each other, interfering with the flow of lithium ions and slowing down the charging rate.

Lithium ions carry the battery’s charge, so to maximize the speed at which the battery can charge and discharge, the researchers designed and synthesized a material with a very ordered crystalline structure, allowing lithium ions to freely flow between the metal layers.

A battery made from the new material can charge or discharge in about 10 minutes - about 10 times faster than the unmodified lithium nickel manganese oxide. That brings it much closer to the timeframe needed for hybrid car batteries, Ceder said.

Before the material can be used commercially, the manufacturing process needs to be made less expensive, and a few other modifications will likely be necessary, Ceder said.

Other potential applications for the new lithium battery include power tools, electric bikes, and power backup for renewable energy sources.

The lead author on the research paper is Kisuk Kang, a graduate student in Ceder’s lab. Ying Shirley Meng, a postdoctoral associate in materials science and engineering at MIT, and Julien Breger and Clare P. Grey of the State University of New York at Stony Brook are also authors on the paper.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Elizabeth A. Thomson | MIT News Office
Further information:
http://www.mit.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers pave the way for ionotronic nanodevices
23.02.2017 | Aalto University

nachricht Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor
22.02.2017 | Toyohashi University of Technology

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

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>