I have had many people who missed the report we did on this in early March send links and updates. The claims, if they hold true, are a true game changer. Now the paper is up for peer review, questions, doubts and concerns are being raised. This is what peer review and the scientific process is all about. Its not about following blindly some gurus BS claims and being subjected to cult like control. It is about being honest, seeking the truth and being able to replicate and verify results.
I have added the new materials and update after the original story. Happy reading
Never too old !
Three times as much energy density as today’s lithium-ion batteries. If half of this report is true this is a major breakthrough.
A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells that could lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage.
Low Cost Solid State Battery
Goodenough’s latest breakthrough, completed with Cockrell School senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, is a low-cost all-solid-state battery that is noncombustible and has a long cycle life (battery life) with a high volumetric energy density, and fast rates of charge and discharge. The engineers describe their new technology in a recent paper published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.
“Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted. We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries,” Goodenough said.
Three times as much energy density as today’s lithium-ion batteries
The researchers demonstrated that their new battery cells have at least three times as much energy density as today’s lithium-ion batteries. A battery cell’s energy density gives an electric vehicle its driving range, so a higher energy density means that a car can drive more miles between charges. The UT Austin battery formulation also allows for a greater number of charging and discharging cycles, which equates to longer-lasting batteries, as well as a faster rate of recharge (minutes rather than hours).
Today’s lithium-ion batteries use liquid electrolytes to transport the lithium ions between the anode (the negative side of the battery) and the cathode (the positive side of the battery). If a battery cell is charged too quickly, it can cause dendrites or “metal whiskers” to form and cross through the liquid electrolytes, causing a short circuit that can lead to explosions and fires. Instead of liquid electrolytes, the researchers rely on glass electrolytes that enable the use of an alkali-metal anode without the formation of dendrites.
The use of an alkali-metal anode (lithium, sodium or potassium) — which isn’t possible with conventional batteries — increases the energy density of a cathode and delivers a long cycle life. In experiments, the researchers’ cells have demonstrated more than 1,200 cycles with low cell resistance.
Could perform well in subzero degree weather
Additionally, because the solid-glass electrolytes can operate, or have high conductivity, at -20 degrees Celsius, this type of battery in a car could perform well in subzero degree weather. This is the first all-solid-state battery cell that can operate under 60 degree Celsius.
Braga began developing solid-glass electrolytes with colleagues while she was at the University of Porto in Portugal. About two years ago, she began collaborating with Goodenough and researcher Andrew J. Murchison at UT Austin. Braga said that Goodenough brought an understanding of the composition and properties of the solid-glass electrolytes that resulted in a new version of the electrolytes that is now patented through the UT Austin Office of Technology Commercialization.
The engineers’ glass electrolytes allow them to plate and strip alkali metals on both the cathode and the anode side without dendrites, which simplifies battery cell fabrication.
Made from earth-friendly materials.
Another advantage is that the battery cells can be made from earth-friendly materials. “The glass electrolytes allow for the substitution of low-cost sodium for lithium. Sodium is extracted from seawater that is widely available,” Braga said.
Goodenough and Braga are continuing to advance their battery-related research and are working on several patents. In the short term, they hope to work with battery makers to develop and test their new materials in electric vehicles and energy storage devices.
This research is supported by UT Austin, but there are no grants associated with this work. The UT Austin Office of Technology Commercialization is actively negotiating license agreements with multiple companies engaged in a variety of battery-related industry segments.
The follow was published by Quartz Media: https://qz.com/929794/has-lithium-battery-genius-john-goodenough-done-it-again-colleagues-are-skeptical/
If it proves out, the invention could allow electric cars to compete with conventional vehicles on sticker price. The improbable solution, described in a new paper from Goodenough and three co-authors, has drawn intense interest from leading science and technology publications. He estimates that the solution could store five to ten times as much energy as current standard lithium-ion batteries. That’s enough to have Google’s Eric Schmidt tweeting about it.
However, other leading battery researchers are skeptical, even mystified, by Goodenough’s claim. For his invention to work as described, they say, it would probably have to abandon the laws of thermodynamics, which say perpetual motion is not possible. The law has been a fundamental of batteries for more than a century and a half.
Goodenough did not respond to emails. But in a statement released by the University of Texas, where he holds an engineering chair, he said, “We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries. Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted.” In addition, Helena Braga, the paper’s lead author, in an exchange of emails, insisted that the team’s claims are valid.
Questions & Comments
It’s what is not stated in the paper that has some of the battery community stumped. How is Goodenough’s new invention storing any energy at all? The known rules of physics state that, to derive energy, differing material must produce differing eletro-chemical reactions in the two opposing electrodes. That difference produces voltage, allowing energy to be stored.
But Goodenough’s battery has pure metallic lithium or sodium on both sides. Therefore, the voltage should be zero, with no energy produced, battery researchers told Quartz.
Goodenough reports energy densities multiple times that of current lithium-ion batteries. Where does the energy come from, if not the electrode reactions? That goes unexplained in the paper.
a. The unstated physics would lead to creation of a battery that, once charged, requires no further energy in order to keep pushing out electricity—violating the laws of thermodynamics. “He’s technically made a perpetual motion machine,” said Venkat Viswanathan, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
b. “It’s kind of like cold fusion. Here is an experiment that is unbelievable,” said Dalhousie University’s Jeff Dahn, a leading researcher whose Canadian laboratory is on a contract with Tesla. “There could be a small possibility that it is right.”
c. Steingart, the Princeton professor, has published a long essay about the paper at Medium (see his notes below). He is among researchers calling Goodenough’s stealth energy “anomalous capacity.” Both he and Dahn wondered whether oxygen had leaked into the cell, making it an inadvertent “lithium air” battery that would explain the burst of energy. Lithium air is a second Holy Grail of battery researchers, even more elusive than the metallic lithium anode; no one has ever made one that lasted more than a few cycles.
In an email exchange, Steingart said, “There’s not a question in my mind that Goodenough and company measured what they say they measured based on what they thought was in the cell. The question is why did the system behave the way it did, and the explanation as to why raises many questions.”
Braga, the lead author on the paper, rejects the lithium-air explanation, insisting that the concept is solid: “Well if we have a Lithium-air battery then we have a very good Lithium-air battery,” she said, noting that the experiment ran for hundreds of cycles, far longer than any rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Here is the diagram to which Braga is referring:
I am on the cheer squad and really hope this technology pans out.