Battery Technology

  • Efficient Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries – Launch of Research Project NEW-BAT

    A new method will allow to recover valuable battery materials. © K. Selsam-Geißler, Fraunhofer ISC

    Funding was granted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to develop an innovative recycling process for valuable battery materials to be reinserted into the battery supply chain. The goal of the NEW-BAT project is a robust, energy efficient and economically viable system with wide application potential. Lithium-ion batteries are key elements in electromobility and a successful energy turnaround. The widespread use of these energy storage devices will come along with large quantities of spent batteries which itself constitute a valuable source of raw materials.

  • Energy hybrid: Battery meets super capacitor

    After stations in Zurich, Kanada and Scotland ERC Starting Grant awardee Stefan Freunberger researches on new energy storage systems at TU Graz. © Lunghammer - TU Graz

    Researcher at TU Graz demonstrates in Nature Materials that it is possible to combine the high-energy density of batteries with the high-power output of super capacitors in a single system – thanks to liquid energy storage materials. Batteries and super capacitors are electrochemical energy storage media, but they are as different as night and day. Both are capable of energy storage and targeted energy release – and yet there are major differences between the two. Batteries store very large amounts of energy that is released slowly but constantly. By contrast, super capacitors can only store small amounts of energy, but they release this energy much faster and more powerfully with large short-term peak currents.

  • Lithium-Ionen Akkus: Kapazität kann um das Sechsfache gesteigert werden

    Lithium Ionen Akkus Kapazität kann um das Sechsfache gesteigert werden | Lithium-Ionen wandern in die Schicht aus kristallinem Silizium ein. Im Lauf der Beladung bildet sich eine 20 Nanometer dünne Schicht (rot) in der Si-Elektrode, die extrem viele Lithium-Atome aufnimmt Abbildung: HZB

    Lithium-Ionen-Akkus könnten ihre Kapazität um das Sechsfache erhöhen, wenn ihre Anode statt aus Graphit aus Silizium bestünde. Ein Team vom Institut für weiche Materie und funktionale Materialien des Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) hat erstmals detailliert beobachtet, wie Lithium-Ionen in Silizium einwandern. Ihre Arbeit zeigt, dass schon extrem dünne Silizium-Schichten ausreichen, um die theoretisch mögliche Kapazität des Akkus zu realisieren. Die Arbeit ist veröffentlicht in der Zeitschrift ACSnano der American Chemical Socity (DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b02032)

  • New Quantum States for Better Quantum Memories

    An artificial diamond under the optical microscope. The diamond fluoresces because due to a number of nitrogen defects. TU Wien

    How can quantum information be stored as long as possible? An important step forward in the development of quantum memories has been achieved by a research team of TU Wien. Conventional memories used in today’s computers only differentiate between the bit values 0 and 1. In quantum physics, however, arbitrary superpositions of these two states are possible. Most of the ideas for new quantum technology devices rely on this “Superposition Principle”. One of the main challenges in using such states is that they are usually short-lived. Only for a short period of time can information be read out of quantum memories reliably, after that it is irrecoverable.

  • The energy-saving data glasses

    Fraunhofer researchers have developed an energy-saving display that reduces the power consumption to a fraction. © Fraunhofer FEP, Photographer: Anna Schroll

    Data glasses mirror information to the eye without interfering with the wearer‘s vision. However, the battery runs down quickly, because the electronics consume a great amount of electricity while playing back the images. Fraunhofer researchers have developed an energy-saving display that reduces the power consumption to a fraction. The new display will be presented at the electronica trade fair in Munich from November 08-11, 2016.

  • The link between nanostructured electrode materials and Samsung’s debacle

    Schematic of lithium-air battery charge and discharge cycles.

    As recently has been announced, the South Korean multinational electronics company SΛMSUNG had to recall its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone with the reason that battery problems cause the “explosion” of the phones during or after charging.
    In regard to the recent events, the German news site heise online published an interview with battery researcher Bai-Xiang Xu from the Technical University Darmstadt in which she explains the technical background of the Note 7 debacle.