New EV battery uses sustainable materials

Researchers have developed a new electric vehicle (EV) battery made from sustainably sourced cellulose. 

Current EV batteries have two electrodes and a separator, with what is called an electrolyte between them which carries the charge. There are several problems associated with using lithium for these batteries, including the build-up of the metal inside the devices which can lead to overheating. 

Another issue with these batteries is that they cannot be easily disposed of at the end of life as they use materials that are not sustainable. 

Additionally, lithium is mined in countries such as Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina where mining is very destructive and there are poor human rights associated with it. 

red and black car door

Researchers at the University of Bristol have now developed new carbon electrode materials which have been shown to outperform many other comparable systems and they also use sustainably sourced materials. 

Corresponding author, Steve Eichhorn, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Bristol said: ‘We were astounded with the performance of these new batteries. There is great potential to develop these further and to produce larger scaled devices with the technology.’

Jing Wang, lead author of the study added: ‘We proposed a novel controllable ice-templating strategy to fabricate low-cost cellulose nanocrystals/polyethylene oxide-derived carbon aerogels with hierarchically tailored and vertically-aligned channels as electrode materials, which can be utilized to well-tuning the rate capability and cycling stability of sodium and potassium ion batteries.

‘Benefiting from the renewability of the precursor and scalability at relatively low cost in the environmentally benign synthesis process, this work could offer an appealing route to promote large-scale applications of sustainable electric vehicles and large-scale energy storage grids in the near future.’




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2 years ago

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