Battery research company, CalBattery, has discovered that a silicon-graphene anode could increase energy density by 300%…
Conventional lithium-ion batteries use graphite-based anodes, which in recent studies have been shown to have almost reached their peak in capacity development. CalBattery’s anode is made of a new silicon-graphene composite with the potential to increase a battery’s energy density by 300%, or triple the current available capacity. Tests are currently showing an energy density of 525 watt-hours per kilogram, and an anode capacity of 1,250 mili-amp-hours per gram.
Key to design is the stabilization of silicon in the lithium battery anode, an element that can easily absorb lithium and deteriorate quickly. Researchers at Argonne National Labs have worked with CalBattery to develop and integrate the new stabilized composite to work with a range of materials.
The increase in density offers great potential for electric vehicles, which could triple their driving range without increasing the weight of their battery. At under $175 per kilowatt-hour the batteries would also be lower cost, making them competitive with fossil fuels for energy storage.
CalBattery CEO, Phil Roberts, stated, “We believe that our new advanced silicon-graphene anode composite material is so good in terms of specific capacity and extended cycle life that it will become a graphite anode ‘drop-in’ replacement material for anodes in most lithium-ion batteries over the next two to three years.”
He also stated that the increased capacity would mean “an estimated 70% reduction in lifetime cost for batteries used in consumer electronics, EVs, and grid-scale energy storage.”
The company plans to commercialize and produce the battery anode for battery and electric vehicle OEMs globally within the next two years. It will also be produced on a limited specialized basis in the US for high-end applications.