## UQ, GMG graphene-enhanced aluminum-ion batteries show very high power density, long life

##### 23 May 2021

Australia-based Graphene Manufacturing Group Ltd. (GMG) reported initial performance data for graphene-enhanced aluminum-ion batteries developed by GHG and the University of Queensland (UQ). The experiments were performed at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at UQ. GMG graphene is being used to produce coin cell prototypes for customer testing in Q4 2021.

Source: 1. Hongjie Dai, Nat. Commun., 2017, 8:14283 2. Hongjie Dai, Nature, 2015, 520, 325, and 3. University of Queensland testing data.

This is a real game-changing technology which can offer a real alternative with an interchangeable battery technology for the existing lithium-ion batteries in almost every application with GMG’s Graphene and UQ’s patent-pending aluminum ion battery technology. The current nominal voltage of our batteries is 1.7 volts, and work is being carried out to increase the voltage to directly replace existing batteries and which lead to higher energy densities.

The real differentiator about these batteries is their very high power density of up to 7000 watts/kg, which endows them with a very high charge rate. Furthermore, graphene aluminum-ion batteries provide major benefits in terms of longer battery life (over 2000 charge / discharge cycles testing so far with no deterioration in performance), battery safety (very low fire potential) and lower environmental impact (more recyclable).

—Dr Ashok Nanjundan, GMG’s Chief Scientific Officer

GMG had earlier announced the execution of a research agreement with the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) to develop graphene aluminum-ion batteries.

GMG is incorporating technology devised by AIBN Professor Michael Yu, Dr Xiaodan Huang and postdoctoral student Yueqi Kong that has made graphene into more efficient electrodes for powering batteries. The results are a battery with up to 70 times faster charging and more sustainability with a life up to three times greater than lithium-ion.

Controlling the structure of graphene‐based materials with improved ion intercalation and diffusivity is crucial for their applications, such as in aluminum‐ion batteries (AIBs). Due to the large size of AlCl4 ions, graphene‐based cathodes have specific capacities of ≈60 to 148 mAh g−1, limiting the development of AIBs. A thermal reductive perforation (TRP) strategy is presented, which converts three‐layer graphene nanosheets to surface‐perforated graphene materials under mild temperature (400 °C).

The thermal decomposition of block copolymers used in the TRP process generates active radicals to deplete oxygen and create graphene fragments. The resultant material has a three‐layer feature, in‐plane nanopores, >50% expanded interlayer spacing, and a low oxygen content comparable to graphene annealed at a high temperature of ≈3000 °C. When applied as an AIB cathode, it delivers a reversible capacity of 197 mAh g−1 at a current density of 2 A g−1 and reaches 92.5% of the theoretical capacity predicted by density‐functional theory simulations.

—Kong et al.

UQ’s research team was awarded A$390,000 over three years from the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Project in 2020 to develop the graphene aluminum-ion technology. Under the terms of the agreement, GMG and UQ have agreed to pay A$150,054 and A\$82,788 respectively to carry out the project. GMG has also agreed to reimburse the incurred patent execution costs up to an agreed maximum amount.

GMG will manufacture commercial battery prototypes for watches, phones, laptops, electric vehicles and grid storage with technology developed at UQ. GMG has also signed a license agreement with Uniquest, the University of Queensland commercialization company, which provides GMG an exclusive license of the technology for battery cathodes.

Resources

• Kong, Yueqi, Tang, Cheng, Huang, Xiaodan, Nanjundan, Ashok Kumar, Zou, Jin, Du, Aijun and Yu, Chengzhong (2021). “Thermal reductive perforation of graphene cathode for high‐performance aluminum‐ion batteries.” Advanced Functional Materials, 31 (17) 2010569, 2010569. doi: 10.1002/adfm.202010569

Excellent progress! Keep up the good work and final achievement will be rewarded in due time. Three questions remain on my side.
1) How high can the final cell voltage be expected to be?
2) Can cell safety be endangered by overcharging?
3) Can the cell be discharged completely without damage?

Beautiful anode tech. The future of electrochemistry is great.

Battery tech is really pushing our technological boundaries, and this side effect is probably more important that the tech itself. Nano technology will have uncountable applications.
It's a pity people is obsessed with dead end technologies like hydrogen, which will not move us forward.

I could certainly do with something better in my i-watch.

Charging it is a PIA, although other manufacturers do way better even with current technology.

With a stated 7000 watt hours per KG, this battery exceeds the limits of theoretical electrochemical energy storage. Just how many ions can they pack into the cell?

That's not Wh/kg, that's W/kg.  Different thing.  It depends on ion mobility, not ion density.

150-160Wh/kg according to the chart.

Not much good for car batteries, for instance, I would have thought.

The good here I hope will be realized when graphene is used on the other chemistries; the current density using Al isn't earth shaking like the power density.

Comparable to some extent only to LFP but far off other more advanced chemistries such as NMC and NCA let alone upcoming lithium metal ones.

G ood to see something other than coal ,sugar and methane coming out of Qld.

160-170 wh/kg would be very good for LFP. Right now the Tesla model3 SR coming into Aust. has LFP cells and BYD is shipping several models all with LFP "blade" cells.
It all comes down to price and with a cathode of aluminium and chlorine it could be cheap.

One thing not mentioned is that it does not overheat so no pack cooling.
Seems like a nobrainer for hybrids or even F1.

@bman:

They are way less intensive on critical resources than BEVs, and with ongoing reductions in precious metal needs to around the same level as that in catalytic converters FCEVs, which of course are hybrids, are similarly placed.

It would be super for hybrids with that power density.
You could (almost) use them as a replacement for Ultracaps and short term load management in general.
+ you could match them with higher energy, but lower power density batteries for EVs.
I imagine the problem will be deploying powerful enough chargers, as without very high power chargers, you have very little.

At 7 kW/kg, you can squeeze 140 kW out of a 20 kg battery.  That's super-hybrid caliber.  140 kW is enough to accelerate 1500 kg to 60 MPH in under 4 seconds, or do the same in braking performance.

If these things have decent temperature tolerance and cycle/calendar life they'll take over hybrid vehicles in a flash.

Davemart says
"150-160Wh/kg according to the chart.
Not much good for car batteries, for instance, I would have thought."

Energy density at the cell level is important but it's not the only thing - for example if my cell chemistry is fire safe and not very temperature sensitive my battery pack can lose weight and size from not needing a heating and cooling system or fire protection, if my battery chemistry is very robust then maybe instead of keeping my charging and discharging between 20%-80% you can do 5%-95%, if my battery chemistry can charge and discharge at a high rate then my brake regen could be maybe 70% instead of 30% , faster charging counts ! a vehicle with a 200 mile range that can be recharge in 5 min might be just as useful as a vehicle with a 350 mile range that needs 60 mins to recharge.

It might be even easier than that.  If you have a car with a 50-mile range but you top up the battery with a 60-second shot of juice from an inductive charger every 25 miles, your range is effectively unlimited.

Juan Carlos,
you can't dismiss a chemistry just looking at one feature.
This project claims:
- Fast charging tolerance (LFP is weak in that area)
- Very high cycle life (higher than LFP)
- Cheap feedstock materials

I would say it's a chemistry more akin to LTO than to LFP.
Large cycle life + fast recharge and decent energy density seems a good option for electric trucks, which should charge in stops of ~1 hour. Of course, we lack the price factor; it would need to be cheap, too.

E.P., yep wireless charging in the main interstates would solve most EV problems but it sounds so much like socialism I doubt it is ever done here. I thought maybe you'd see it in China but now that China and the U.S. seem determined to have a dick measuring contest they will probably start spending more on their military instead of advanced infrastructure. Sigh .... the world is run by adolescent minded sociopaths we must just continue to do the best we can.

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