Have you ever experienced range anxiety? If yes, then it’s time to say goodbye because scientists at the University of California have devised a better and more sustainable solution for you. They have developed lithium-ion batteries that are independent of the outside temperatures and will not have any impact from extremely hot or cold temperatures. Usually, batteries contain three main components, i.e., cathode, anode, and electrolyte. An electrolyte is a chemical mixture in the form of liquid that makes the electrical charge flow between anode and cathode. This is the specialty of this battery; it uses an unrivaled “temperature proof electrolyte” that helps enhance the battery’s characteristics.
The electrolyte used is a “dibutyl ether” along with lithium salt. Lithium ions proceed from cathode to anode in this lithium-ion battery, and the mixture of electrolytes is held with the lithium ions in a weak molecular bond. In this way, the lithium-ion battery can easily sustain in extreme hot and cold temperatures because the electrolyte molecules can easily get separated from the lithium ions as the battery starts because of their weak molecular interaction.
Moreover, the boiling point of dibutyl ether is 286 degrees Fahrenheit or 141 degrees Celsius, and it has been observed that the battery can easily give its performance of 87.5% at -40 degrees Celsius and 115.9% at 50 degrees Celsius. Also, these upcoming new batteries are equipped with “Coulombic efficiencies” that can give the capacity up to 98.2% and 98.7% at these temperatures.
As per Professor Zheng Chen at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, “You need a high-temperature operation in areas where the ambient temperature can reach the triple digits and the roads get even hotter.” In electric vehicles, the battery packs are typically under the floor, close to these hot roads. Also, batteries warm up just from having a current run-through during operation. If the batteries cannot tolerate this warmup at high temperatures, their performance will quickly degrade. “
Coupled with this, according to the researchers at the University of California, the dibutyl ether is also capable of being integrated with the lithium-sulfur batteries having a lithium anode and a sulfuric cathode. Also, these lithium-sulfur batteries can hold a charge twice the amount of lithium-ion batteries, which in turn can increase the range up to twice as well. But there are some imminent problems with lithium-sulfur batteries that serve as a major halt in their way of being marketed. This includes their reactivity at hot temperatures which could pose a threat of short circuit.
Hence, lithium-ion batteries do not have such issues, and they work with efficiency along with the induced electrolyte. Now, the drivers of electric vehicles need not be worried about the fear of running out of charge before reaching the nearby charging station. The new lithium-ion batteries have an enhanced range due to the electrolyte, irrespective of any outside conditions.