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[ChinaDaily]New Battery Operates Well in Cold Temperatures

Posted: 2024-03-08

Chinese researchers have developed a new high-energy lithiumion battery that can operate reliably in temperatures as low as — 60 C, a feat that could significantly improve the performance of electric vehicles and other devices in extremely cold regions.

The battery, created by a team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, boasts an energy density of 260 watt-hours per kilogram, even in extreme cold. That means it can store a significant amount of energy relative to its weight, ensuring efficient operation in harsh environments.

"This battery exhibits remarkable endurance, retaining over 80 percent of its capacity after 500 cycles at a wide range of temperatures," said professor Chen Zhongwei, head of the State Key Laboratory of Catalysis at the institute and leader of the research team.

The researchers achieved the breakthrough by addressing several key challenges. They developed a next-generation composite electrolyte that enhances the flow of ions within the battery, especially at low temperatures. And they also incorporated a multi-layer composite electrode structure with a novel semi-solid electrolyte and modified active materials, leading to improved stability and conductivity.

Those advances enhanced the battery's ability to perform consistently and deliver power efficiently even in extreme cold, Chen said.

The new battery also addresses safety concerns associated with traditional lithium-ion batteries, which primarily use liquid electrolytes, which can leak and ignite, posing a fire risk. The new design utilizes a proprietary semi-solid electrolyte, reducing the liquid component and therefore increasing fire resistance.

"This significantly reduces the risk of fire or explosion even under high temperatures," he said.

Beyond electric vehicles and outdoor energy storage, the batteries have the potential to revolutionize power supply and storage in various sectors, including aviation, aerospace and polar exploration, Chen added.

The research team is aiming to improve the battery's performance. It is developing the next generation with an even wider operational temperature range, targeting stable operation between — 70 C and 70 C and an energy density exceeding 280 Wh/kg.

"We are committed to achieving the country's carbon reduction goals and pushing the boundaries of energy technology," Chen said. "Through innovative, multidisciplinary research, we strive to establish China as a world leader in battery innovation."

Related link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202403/07/WS65e92404a31082fc043bb274.html