University of Tokyo Develops Lithium Ion Battery with Water as Electrolyte

University of Tokyo develops lithium-ion battery with water as electrolyte

After mixing two kinds of lithium salts in a certain proportion, only a small amount of water can be added to liquefy to form a room temperature molten hydrate.

Charge and Discharge Behavior of (a) 3.1V Grade and (b) 2.4V Lithium Ion Batteries Using Room Temperature Melt Hydrate as Electrolyte Solution

Voltage, Capacity, and Energy Density of Lithium-Ion Batteries Using Room Temperature Melt Hydrate as Electrolyte

The University of Tokyo announced on August 29, 2016 that through a collaborative study with the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Japan Institute for Materials Research (NIMS), a new type of lithium-ion conductive liquid based on "water" has been discovered. Hydrate (melt). Lithium-ion batteries that use an ambient temperature molten hydrate electrolyte can help balance the energy density and safety of the battery in the past and achieve a high level of balance.

The researchers found that mixing the water with specific two lithium salts in a certain ratio, the lithium salt dihydrate, which is usually in a solid state, exists as a stable liquid (ambient temperature melt hydrate) at room temperature. After the general aqueous solution is applied with a voltage of about 1.2V, it will be electrolyzed into oxygen and hydrogen. This room temperature molten hydrate will not decompose even if a high voltage of 3V or more is applied, and its electrical resistance is comparable to that of a common organic solvent.

Using the supercomputer "King", the first-principles molecular dynamics calculations show that the room-temperature molten hydrate is liquid when all the water molecules are coordinated with lithium ions, forming a solution structure that cannot be achieved by general aqueous solutions. . The room temperature molten hydrate has excellent high voltage resistance and excellent lithium ion transport properties and can be used as an electrolyte for lithium ion batteries.

As a model of the validation concept, the researchers successfully completed the reversible operation of 3.1V grade (LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 cathode -Li4Ti5O12 anode) and 2.4V grade (LiCoO2 cathode -Li4Ti5O12 cathode) lithium ion batteries, demonstrating that they can reach and use organic solvents. The same level of commercial lithium-ion battery (2.4-3.7V). Its energy density also exceeds the level of commercially available 2.4V lithium-ion batteries, enabling ultra-high-speed charge and discharge in less than 6 minutes, far surpassing commercially available lithium-ion batteries.

The use of special organic solvents is a problem faced by existing lithium ion batteries. This kind of electrolyte is not only extremely flammable, it may cause accidents such as fire and explosion, and it is also toxic. Once an accident occurs, it may cause harm to the human body and the environment. Therefore, it is possible to replace flammable, toxic, and expensive organic solvents with non-combustible, harmless, and low-cost water to build a highly safe electrolyte system, which is expected to fundamentally improve production costs.

In the future, researchers will continue to explore the causes of the abnormal characteristics exhibited by ambient temperature melt hydrates, explore new functions, identify practical issues for the development of new battery devices that use room temperature molten hydrate electrolytes, and begin development. It is also planned to explore. More powerful room temperature molten hydrate material. The results of this research have been published on the online version of NatureEnergy on August 26, 2016. (Special Contributor: Kudosuke)

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