Low-Cost Battery from Waste Graphite
Time : 2019.08.06
These metals offer a high degree of safety, even if the anode is made of pure metal. This also offers the opportunity to assemble the batteries in a very simple and inexpensive way and to rapidly upscale the production.
To solve the problem, the researchers turned the principle of the lithium–ion battery upside down. In conventional Li–ion batteries, the anode is made of graphite. In Kovalenko’s battery, on contrary, the graphite is used as a cathode. The thick anions are deposited in-between the graphene layers. In Kovalenko’s battery, the anode is made of metal.
Kravchyk made a remarkable discovery: he found that waste graphite produced in steel production, referred to as ”kish graphite”, makes for a great cathode material. Natural graphite also works equally well – if it is supplied in coarse flakes. Here, the graphite layers are open at the flakes’ edges and the thick anions are thus able to slip into the structure more easily.
The graphite cathode battery constructed from steel production “kish graphite” or raw, natural graphite flakes has the potential to become highly cost-effective. And if the first experiments are anything to go by, it is also long-lasting. For several months, a lab system survived thousands of charging and discharging cycles.
“The aluminum chloride–graphite cathode battery could last decades in everyday household use,” explains Kravchyk and adds “similar demonstrations, but further increased battery voltages, without compromising capacities, and of even lighter elements are on the way and will offer further increase in energy densities.”