A promising development by researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is expected to enable safer batteries with higher energy density, giving electric cars a longer pouring range, due to a switch from liquid to solid electrolytes.
On Wednesday, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced they had developed the first high-performance, nanostructured solid electrolyte for more energy-dense lithium ion batteries. This is different from todays lithium-ion batteries, which use a liquid electrolyte, by using a solid instead. In a battery, the electrolyte is the material that
Liquid electrolytes can have safety issues because of flammability, depending on the battery chemistry. The chemistries used in electric car batteries are regarded as safe. But the ORNL researchers claim that building batteries using a solid electrolyte can not only overcome safety concerns, but increase energy density. Increased energy density means an electric car with a longer pouring range, or else a less expensive electric car with the same pouring range.
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