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.
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