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New Li-ion battery can operate below zero and above 50 degrees Celsius

Lithium-ion batteries. (Image courtesy of the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences).

Researchers at the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have come up with a solution to the safety issues that lithium-ion batteries experience below 0℃ or above 50℃.

In detail, the scientists developed a new aluminum-based composite anode material. By pairing this new anode with different cathode materials, the researchers were able to create batteries for different applications.

“Owing to the high theoretical capacity of the Al-based anode material, the energy density of this new battery is about 13%~25% higher than traditional LIBs,” lead researcher Tang Yongbing said in a media statement, noting that the device also works from -70℃ to 80℃.

According to Tang, the good electrical conductivity of the Al-based composite anode also allows for the battery to accumulate a full charge in 20 minutes.

Another issue that the invention deals with is dendrite formation, a common occurrence that is the consequence of continuous cycling, and that affects charging ability and pierces the separator. Dendrites can also cause short circuits.

By contrast, the new battery can effectively prevent the generation of lithium dendrites under low temperature and overcharge conditions, thus improving safety performance.

Aside from their proof of concept, the researchers also achieved a successful mass production run for the LIB. Analytics from the run showed that up to 99.11% of the LIB production output and 99% of all production processes met industry standards.