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Current Affairs

Improving lithium-ion battery performance

Date: 12 April 2021 Tags: Energy

Issue

To increase performance of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, researchers of IIT Guwahati have developed a new technique.

 

Details

  • Stanley Whittingham, John Goodenough and Akira Yoshino won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on Lithium-ion battery.

  • Lithium-ion batteries are currently used in mobile phones, tablets, laptops and among other devices. The first commercially usable Li-ion battery was created in 1985.

  • The development of the battery started during the oil crisis of 1970s when there were efforts made to develop energy alternative to oil.

  • These batteries can be used for storing energy developed using solar and wind energy. This basically allows us to live in fossil fuel less world.

 

Disadvantages

  • They are susceptible to overheating and also prone to damage at high voltage as a result of their flammable and combustible material.

  • They start to lose their capacity over time due to continuous cycle of charging and discharging.

 

New research

  • The researchers have developed a technique to identify state of charge. The State of charge (SOC) signals the amount of charge that can be withdrawn from the battery before it gets fully discharged. 

  • This knowledge will help in optimizing battery’s capacity, preventing overcharging and undercharging, increasing lifespan of battery, reducing cost, and ensuring safety of the battery and its surroundings.

  • Predicting SOC is difficult to achieve. It is critical in improving battery’s lifespan and optimizing its capacity.

 

Alternatives to Li-ion batteries

  • Australian researchers have developed a lithium-sulphur (Li-S) battery that has the capacity to power a smartphone for more than 5 days. It is equivalent to driving car for 1000km.

  • Li-sulphur batteries are better because of their cost of production, energy efficiency and improved safety. Their cost of production is also lower as sulphur is easily available.