New lead-based anode boosts lithium battery performance
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new electrode design for a lithium-ion battery using lead as well as carbon. As an infinitely recyclable metal, the technological breakthrough could see lead improve the performance and sustainability of lithium-ion batteries for the hybrid and all-electric vehicle market.
The research team at Argonne laboratory has developed a simple, low-cost method for fabricating the lead anode used, which is made of lead nanoparticles embedded in a carbon matrix and enclosed by a thick lead oxide shell.
Laboratory tests have already demonstrated the new lead-based anode can attain twice the energy storage capacity of the current graphite anodes in use, with stable performance during cycling possible.
The development supports higher-performing lithium-ion traction batteries for low-emission vehicles by using lead.
Image shows a lithium-ion battery, a lead-based core-shell particle developed for the anode, the element lead in the periodic table, and a lead battery for an automobile. (Image by Scapiens Inc., Argonne National Laboratory and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology.)
The world’s low-emission vehicle fleet is one of the prime examples of where different battery chemistries complement each other: virtually every electric vehicle has an auxiliary lead battery used for powering emergency functions if the primary lithium-ion battery fails.
This is an example of the dual-chemistry technologies that will be needed for a low carbon future. From projects providing frequency regulation to stabilise electrical grids to electric vehicle charging projects, growing demand for battery energy storage means every chemistry has a significant role to play.
Read about the full research underway in a collaboration between Argonne, Northwestern University, Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) here.
Originally published by the Consortium for Battery Innovation.
Cover image: Boliden lead bars, photo credit: Stefan Berg.