This new and upcoming lithium-metal battery has emerged to become a scientific mainstream due to its exceptional features. Lately, the owners of electric vehicles have been concerned about the lifespan of the existing lithium-ion batteries, as they only remain functional for about seven to eight years. And the cost of replacing them is not so economical, so the drivers better end up buying new electric vehicles. In order to bridge the gap, Adden Energy, a startup based in Waltham, Massachusetts, has finally managed to get $15 million in funding and a license to start producing the batteries on a commercial scale. You would be amazed to know that these lithium-metal batteries can make your EV charge completely in just three minutes and that too for a whopping 20 years.
However, a team of Harvard scientists is behind the manufacturing of this incredibly amazing battery, and the design configuration has been based on a BLT sandwich. Primarily, the issue of the growth of “dendrites” has been pointed out, but with the use of this sandwich-like structure, the growth of these dendrites can easily be restricted. The testing of this new battery has been deemed a success, which was done by Xin Li and colleagues at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). The battery has been designed in such a way that it is the size of a palm-like structure and has been enclosed in an aluminum-coated film.
According to Li, who is a scientific adviser to Adden Energy, “We have achieved in the lab 5,000 to 10,000 charge cycles in a battery’s lifetime, compared with 2,000 to 3,000 charging cycles for even the best in class now, and we don’t see any fundamental limit to scaling up our battery technology. If you want to electrify vehicles, a solid-state battery is a way to go.” He further said, “We set out to commercialize this technology because we do see our technology as unique compared to other solid-state batteries.”
It should be noted that a battery always contains three parts, i.e., a cathode, an anode, and an electrolyte. And for this lithium-metal battery, the sandwich-like BLT design structure plays an important part. There are two electrolytes used in the battery; they are the first layer of tomatoes and the layer of bacon, respectively. Similarly, for the cathode, another layer of tomatoes and the last piece of bread will work, and for the anode, the bread will do the task as depicted in the figure.
As per Ye, who is the CTO of Adden Energy, “Typically, lithium-metal anodes in other solid-state designs develop dendrites, twig-like growths that can gradually penetrate through the electrolyte to the cathode. We defeat the growth of dendrites before they can cause damage, by novel structural and material designs. As a result, the device can sustain its high performance over a long lifetime. Our recent study shows that this nice feature can also be maintained at scale-up. “