Treatment with an electrolyte salt solution extends battery life and improves its performance.
AUSTRALIA – A salt bath can extend the life of rechargeable lithium batteries used in electric cars, which opens the door to improvements in efficiency, according to a study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
A team of experts from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), RMIT University and Queensland University of Technlogy showed that pre-treatment of lithium metal electrodes with a salt solution electrolyte extends life battery and improves performance.
Adam Best, CSIRO researcher, said in a statement that the work showed that pre-treatment of lithium metal electrodes can create batteries with a charging efficiency that outperforms standard lithium batteries.
The process involves immersing electrodes in lithium metal electrolyte solution containing a mixture of ionic liquids and lithium salts prior to assembly of the battery.
Such solutions help prevent fires and explosions, which are part of the risks that can cause rechargeable batteries, the statement said.
Best added that this pre-treatment reduces decomposition of the electrolyte during the operation, which is what determines the capacity of action and duration of the batteries.
The method seeks to accelerate the development of the new generation of energy storage solutions, which could help overcome the problem of stress affecting battery industry for electric cars.
The research has the potential to improve the range of electric vehicles and charging their batteries so they can compete with traditional fossil fuel powered vehicles.