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Aug 1, 2020

Lithium metal batteries that perform well at low temperatures

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

Lithium (Li) batteries, or lithium metal batteries, use metallic lithium as an anode. Over the past few decades, rechargeable Li batteries have been used to power a wide variety of electronic devices, including toys, portable consumer devices and electric vehicles.

While these batteries typically achieve reliable performances at room temperature, their , power and cycle life tend to decrease significantly at temperatures below −10 °C. The inability to function well at low temperatures is a crucial drawback, as it greatly limits their use in regions with particularly cold climates. The main reason for this limitation is that at temperatures below −10 °C the solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) becomes unstable and leads to what is known as the dendritic Li plating of the anode in the batteries.

A team of researchers at Pennsylvania State University and Argonne National Laboratory recently introduced a new design for Li metal batteries that could overcome this well-documented drawback. The resulting batteries, presented in a paper published in Nature Energy, were found to perform remarkably well at low temperatures compared to previously developed Li batteries.

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