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SK to develop next-gen Li metal battery technology with Nobel Laureate John Goodenough

SK Innovation will develop next-generation battery technology with University of Texas at Austin Professor John Goodenough, who was awarded a 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his foundational work on the lithium-ion battery.

Goodenough and Dr. Hadi Khani at The University of Texas at Austin aim to develop unique gel-polymer electrolyte for a lithium metal battery with the goal of providing higher energy density and better safety at a competitive cost.

Current lithium-ion chemistry is not likely to overcome 800 Wh/L energy density. To deliver a battery with 1,000 Wh/L energy density, a lithium metal anode and solid-state electrolyte is viewed as a promising solution.

A critical hurdle to realizing an all-solid lithium-metal battery is dendrite growth, tiny needle-like projections that can create issues with the battery. These growths on the surface of the lithium metal can lead to energy loss and malfunctions, causing catastrophic failure of the battery and even safety hazards.


SK Innovation researchers hold EV battery cells.

To overcome this hurdle and deliver a next-generation battery to market, SK Innovation along with Goodenough and Khani plan to develop a new gel-polymer electrolyte system which will evenly transport lithium-ion while filtering undesired ions from traveling and ultimately suppress dendrite growth. The goal is to develop a microporous polymer matrix with weakly- coordinating-anion system that can be applied to larger, more powerful cells.



It definitely looks like long life Lithium Metal technology is moving closer to commercialization.
First, we learned that Berkeley Labs, CMU, and 24-M were making progress with Lithium Electrode Sub-Assemblies (LESA) - a composite polymer ceramic electrolyte, lithium metal assembly.
Now, SK Innovation another leading battery manufacturer plans on using UT research to build a Lithium Metal battery.
You can read more about the microporous polymer matrix with the unique gel-polymer electrolyte that John Goodenough and Dr. Hadi Khani at The University of Texas Austin are developing here: "Micropores-in-macroporous gel polymer electrolytes for alkali metal batteries" DOI: 10.1039/C9SE00690G, in Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2020, 4, pages 177-189


Sion has lithium metal anodes, higher energy density but not as many charge cycles. Combine that with new solvents in the electrolyte to get more cycles.

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