Georgia Tech researchers led by Matthew McDowell, Associate Professor, in collaboration with Novelis, an aluminum producer, are employing aluminum foil to make batteries with high energy density and stability.
The team’s new battery system, detailed in Nature Communications, could enable EVs to run longer and be cheaper to manufacture than conventional lithium-ion batteries. Instead of utilizing pure aluminum, they mixed small amounts of other elements to make foils with certain microstructures. To understand battery performance, they evaluated over 100 materials. The aluminum anode stored more lithium and energy than conventional anodes and produced high-energy-density batteries. The team is also scaling up the batteries to study how size affects aluminum behavior.
“We needed to incorporate a material that would address aluminum’s fundamental issues as a battery anode,” said Yuhgene Liu, a PhD student in McDowell’s lab and the first author of the paper. “Our new aluminum foil anode demonstrated improved performance and stability when implemented in solid-state batteries, as opposed to conventional lithium-ion batteries.”
Source: Georgia Tech