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NTU Singapore team develops ultra-fast charging Li-ion battery with new TiO2 gel anode material

Researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) led by Professor Xiaodong Chen have developed a new TiO2 gel material for Li-ion battery anodes. A battery equipped with the new anode material can be recharged up to 70% in only 2 minutes. The new battery will also be able to endure more than 10,000 charging cycles. A paper on their work is published in the journal Advanced Materials.

The team grew ultralong TiO2-based nanotubes from TiO2 nanoparticles using a stirring hydrothermal method. Their study confirmed that the mechanical-force-driven stirring process is the reason for the lengthening of the nanotubes.

In their paper, they note that this protocol to synthesize elongated nanostructures can be extended to other nanostructured systems, opening up new opportunities for manufacturing advanced functional materials for high-performance energy-storage devices.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterials are of interest as Li-ion anode materials due to their advantages in terms of cost, safety, and rate capability. A 2013 paper (Dylla et al.) by a team from the University of Texas at Austin noted that of the most studied polymorphs, nanostructured TiO2(B) has the highest capacity with promising high rate capabilities.

However, they noted a number of disadvantages as well. Titania in general suffers from poor electronic and ionic conductivity. Although nanostructuring can help alleviate problems with poor ionic conductivity by shortening lithium diffusion pathways, this also increases the likelihood of severe first discharge irreversible capacity loss. Nanostructuring also results in lowered volumetric energy density, which could be a considerable problem for mobile applications.

Moving forward, Prof Chen’s research team will be applying for a Proof-of-Concept grant to build a large-scale battery prototype. The technology is currently being licensed to a company. Prof. Chen expects that a new generation of fast-charging batteries will hit the market in two years.

With our nanotechnology, electric cars would be able to increase their range dramatically with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars. Equally important, we can now drastically cut down the waste generated by disposed batteries, since our batteries last ten times longer than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries.

—Prof. Chen

This battery research project took the team of four NTU Singapore scientists three years to complete and is funded by Singapore’s National Research Foundation.

Resources

  • Tang, Y., Zhang, Y., Deng, J., Wei, J., Tam, H. L., Chandran, B. K., Dong, Z., Chen, Z. and Chen, X. (2014), “Nanotubes: Mechanical Force-Driven Growth of Elongated Bending TiO2-based Nanotubular Materials for Ultrafast Rechargeable Lithium Ion Batteries,” Adv. Mater., 26: 6046 doi: 10.1002/adma.201470238

  • Anthony G. Dylla, Graeme Henkelman and Keith J. Stevenson (2013) “Lithium Insertion in Nanostructured TiO2(B) Architectures,” Accounts of Chemical Research doi: 10.1021/ar300176y

Comments

mahonj

A 10000 cycle battery would last 30 years in a power shifting application. It wouldn't matter too much if it was bulky in a stationary application.

+ if you could charge that fast, you could "hop" down the motorway in 120-160 mile chunks. Double the range would be nice, but a 5 minute recharge wouldn't be too bad - assuming such recharging stations exist 9in a couple of years).

NewtonPulsifer

Anode technology is already sufficiently advanced, honestly (silicon nanowire based li-ion is already commercialized with a more than 5x reduction in mass).

The only headlines that pique my interest at this point are electrolyte and cathode (especially cathode) advancements. Those are now the low hanging fruit.

gorr

Don't begin festivities because of this battery. There is more drawbacks than improvements. The main problem still is patents and commercialization. Nobody in their battery cars will change their chemistries because it ain't good and they don't want to invest anymore and they want to protect their actual and future patents. Big oil is buying from the start these new patents and they transfert the owning rights in cayman islands and they sue anybody right after for patent infringement and they are not interested in commercializing it whatsoever.

These scientists all have future jobs at exxon mobil and houses in a fiscal paradise somewhere, that's the reason they are working in a product that can cut petrol consumption.

You will never own a real green car because they are already selled to big oil the richest peoples on earth. All you can buy are costly limp green cars like volts, leafs or tesla that nobody is actually buying except a small bunch of exploited dreamers that still dream of a better battery or a plentiful cheap hydrogen infrastructure. The money you invest to save gas is 10 to 1 return on capital invested and the car behave badly especially in winter where you need more energy.

DaveD

Gor, gor, gor...so young yet so skeptical!

:)

HarveyD

Could EVs equipped with this type of batteries eventually recharge on the go much the same way water bombers reload?

Driving over a specially equipped charging lane (s) for 2 minutes every 100 or 200 miles should do it.

Lanes close to existing pay booths could be equipped with wireless charging facilities. The cost of electrons used could be automatically added to existing highway fees.

SJC

Harvey,

Nice idea, but who will pay the $100 million per lane mile for a 200kW charger? I don't think it will be the utility companies who don't want a 200kW time N cars load on the grid during prime time.

HarveyD

Spaces above national highways, if equipped with high performance solar cells, could produce more than enough energy for the eventual 200+ million e-cars and 100+ million residneces in USA, during sun shine hours.

Of course, some sort of e-storage would be required for the other hours.

A 15 to 20 kWh battery should be enough for the average house. E-cars could recharge (if required) at charging stations outside sunshine hours.

That is only one of the 10+ options to electrify vehicles and residences with clean electricity.

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