It is no secret that lithium-ion batteries are not ideal designs and have a lot of disadvantages. Frankly speaking, this is the biggest flaw in modern smartphones. Manufacturers must carefully balance between the battery capacity and their physical size. Therefore, scientists are working on different ways to improve the properties of today’s batteries. It turns out that carbon obtained from asphalt is ideally suited for the construction of lithium batteries, which have high capacity and can be charged in a few minutes.
The use of lithium-ion batteries in smartphones is currently quite problematic, because they slightly swell when charging. It is also possible that as a result of manufacturing flaws, it may be self-inflicted, as was the case with the Galaxy Note 7. Also, the new iPhone 8 Plus has a problem with swollen batteries, but here the cause remains unknown. They also have a relatively short lifetime, so after a specified number of charging cycles, the effective capacity of the battery is reduced. Another disadvantage is the long charging time, which certainly limits the development of hybrid and electric cars. Did Rice University researchers make the expected breakthrough?
Asphalt reduces the charging time of lithium batteries for few minutes.
Researchers summarize published research results quite interesting. They claim that their new type of battery is charged up to 20 times faster than conventional solutions. To ensure that their experiment is not a coincidence, they conducted 500 charge-discharge cycles. It turned out that the results were stable and the researchers did not observe a decrease in capacity. This is due to the slower formation of dendrites, which are the result of aging of the battery. The design of new batteries is quite interesting. Carbon obtained from asphalt is mixed with graphene nanoribones, and then such mixture is covered with lithium metal. This is not the first time that scientists have used carbon to improve lithium battery performance. Previous research was based on the use of anodes made of graphene and carbon nanotubes. However, the new method is much simpler and less expensive to implement in mass production. Who knows, maybe in a few years we will have modern smartphones that will be charged only once per week.
Source: RICE University