Lithium-Air Battery Now Closer to Reality

The theoretical lithium-air battery now has a working model that demonstrates its viability.

From Science Daily

New design produces true lithium-air battery

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at Argonne National Laboratory have designed a new lithium-air battery that works in a natural-air environment and still functioned after a record-breaking 750 charge/discharge cycles. Their findings are reported in the journalĀ Nature.

“Our lithium-air battery design represents a revolution in the battery community,” said Amin Salehi-Khojin, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and co-corresponding author of the paper. “This first demonstration of a true lithium-air battery is an important step toward what we call ‘beyond lithium-ion’ batteries, but we have more work to do in order to commercialize it.”

Lithium-air batteries — believed to be able to hold up to five times more energy than the lithium-ion batteries that power our phones, laptops and electric vehicles — have been tantalizing to battery researchers for years. But several obstacles have plagued their development.

The batteries would work by combining lithium present in the anode with oxygen from the air to produce lithium peroxide on the cathode during the discharge phase. The lithium peroxide would be broken back down into its lithium and oxygen components during the charge phase.

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