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The future of lithium batteries

battery lithium electric car robot military power grid

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#1
BarkEater93

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Sales of electric vehicles have increased in recent years. But electric cars will only truly replace gas-powered vehicles once the technology makes them more economically feasible, and we're not quite there yet. Batteries are a crucial technology for these vehicles, and today’s standard is made with lithium. Lithium batteries have been around for a while, and their limitations are becoming more apparent, even if they're not necessarily Li-ion . Batteries will have to get better if we are to have over a billion electric vehicles on the roads. And that includes getting away from lithium altogether. But electric vehicles will not be the only thing propelling research into better battery technologies.
 
Like a lot of breakthrough technologies, most of it will come from the military. Militaries are investing heavily in developing new battery technologies to power their increasingly energy-intensive equipment on the battlefield, and to make their infrastructure less dependent on the power grid. This technology will eventually pour into the civilian population, and will have huge ramifications for society. As the threat and fragility of massive regional blackouts increases, there will be a greater need for micro-grids and to have homes and businesses be able to run entirely on batteries. Batteries will also be needed to power the increasing number and sophistication of robots that will be transforming the economy.
 
These are all very high energy use activities that will require batteries with bigger and more efficient storage than what is currently available. Lithium is a finite resource (most deposits are found in a very concentrated area in southern South America) and it won't be able to meet these increasing demands. So more research is being put into rechargeable batteries that are made with much more abundant elements.
 
So I ask, what do you think is the future of batteries after lithium? There are a lot of different alternatives being experimented on right  now. What do you think they’ll be made with? 
 


#2
bgates276

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Honestly, the future of technology is wearables, and then well after that, implantables. If they can find a way to make the technology operate off of a person's own glucose or electrolytes, I think technology will become seamless and be able to operate indefinitely. Unless of course the person doesn't have access to food. 

 

I also think the future is solar power. Perhaps there are more efficient ways for batteries to store it, but I have no idea how.



#3
karthikaqpt

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New high-capacity sodium-ion could replace lithium in rechargeable batteries

 

University of Birmingham scientists are paving the way to swap the lithium in lithium-ion batteries with sodium. Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) are rechargeable and are widely used in laptops, mobile phones and in hybrid and fully electric vehicles. The electric vehicle is a crucial technology for fighting pollution in cities and realising an era of clean sustainable transport.

 

However lithium is expensive and resources are unevenly distributed across the planet. Large amounts of drinking water are used in lithium extraction and extraction techniques are becoming more energy intensive as lithium demand rises - an 'own goal' in terms of sustainability.

 

Sodium is inexpensive and can be found in seawater so is virtually limitless. However, sodium is a larger ion than lithium, so it is not possible to simply "swap" it for lithium in current technologies.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: battery, lithium, electric car, robot, military, power grid

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