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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.



#4
SkittleBlu

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There’s been a lot of talk recently about the importance of lithium-ion batteries. Their growth has spurred international competition to control the resources that go into making them. China currently dominates the Li-ion supply chain. The US feels it must compete.
 
But we have to ask the question: are lithium-ion batteries really the future? In the short-term, their use will be sufficient, and they will continue to grow. In the long-term, they will not be sustainable.
 
In the coming decades, battery technology will be extremely important. Batteries will need to be used for many different things, and will have to have a very high capability, to power robots, vehicles and eventually homes. Militaries will need them to power equipment on the battlefield. As we transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energies (such as space-based solar power), battery energy storage will be even more important. In short, the world will quite literally be run on batteries.
 
In the future, a battery will need to hold an incredible amount of power, recharge in seconds, last for decades, be extremely compact and power through the air. Li-ion simply can't meet those requirements. Lithium is a finite resource, as are most of the other ingredients used in these batteries. For instance, cobalt, typically used in the cathode, is found mainly in the DRC, an unstable country. As with fossil fuels, reserves will eventually run out.
 
Much investment and progress have been made by scientists outside of China in developing more powerful and efficient rechargeable batteries using more abundant elements. As the demand for rechargeable batteries soars, the core technology must evolve as well. The technology used in Li-ion batteries is now over a quarter century old, and it's reaching its developmental limits.
 
For now, China's dominance in the Li-ion supply chain makes sense. China is very dependent on imported oil coming mostly from the Persian Gulf. If a power were to block the Strait of Hormuz or the Strait of Malacca, it would suffocate the Chinese economy. It wants to ease this vulnerability by transitioning from gas-powered vehicles to electric ones, hence investing in Li-ion batteries. Air pollution caused by gas-powered vehicles is another major problem that China is trying to solve. China may have the world's largest auto market, but only a small percentage of Chinese are wealthy enough to own a vehicle. So Li-ion is able to meet the modest needs of a Third World country such as China. But it won't be enough to meet the needs of a much more developed, energy-hungry world of the future.
 
If China thinks it can secure its dominance in the electric vehicle market and be a leader in batteries based on today's technology, it is following a red herring. Batteries are evolving. China, like any country, must adapt to the changes or risk being left behind.


#5
Mr.posthuman

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Scientists from university of Illinois have designed a battery that store 2000 times more energy than Li-Ion charge 1000 times faster and its 30 times smaller.

#6
zEVerzan

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What's it made of? Got a source?


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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#7
Mr.posthuman

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It is a design of Li-Ion battery that charge 2000 times more energy.

#8
Mr.posthuman

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Other battery come from a company work in having 3d cathode that make battery store 10 times more energy

#9
starspawn0

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There is no such technology.  You are either making it up or misread.  

 

Wishing doesn't make it so.  That goes for faster-than-light travel and battery tech, two things you have recently posted.



#10
Mr.posthuman

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I think maybe it is just a computer concept or design.
Search in google it is from a team of university of Illinois.

#11
starspawn0

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You're just making it up. There are no such designs about how to make flying cows, either.





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

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