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New lithium battery charges faster and “explodes less”

One of the great challenges in the world of technology is in the batteries. If they were more stable, if they lasted longer and charged faster, the world of electric cars would be different, as well as that of mobile phones and other devices.

But it is clear that the battery industry advances more slowly than the rest, and that is a problem for the environment, since it continues to depend on fossil fuels for the most diverse tasks.

One of the advances that is being made in this regard comes from Texas A&M University. They have tackled the problem with lithium batteries, which can short out internally and heat up the device. To avoid this, they have made a design based on carbon nanotubes for the conductive plate of the battery, called a node, which allows the safe storage of a large amount of lithium ions, which reduces the risk of fire.

If you don’t know what carbon nanotubes are, here we remind you:

The same technology will cause lithium batteries to charge faster than current commercially available batteries. But to understand it it is better to first see how a battery works:

With this new invention, lithium is prevented from accumulating outside the node, which over time can cause inadvertent contact between the contents of the two battery compartments, which is one of the main causes of device explosions.

The electrical conductor that houses the lithium ions within the battery plays a decisive role in the properties of the battery. A commonly used node material is graphite. At these nodes, lithium ions are inserted between layers of graphite. However, the researchers reported that this design limits the amount of lithium ions that can be stored within the node and even requires more energy to extract the ions from the graphite during charging.

What they have done is design nodes using lightweight, highly conductive materials called carbon nanotubes, which contain spaces for lithium ions to enter and settle. The structure was modified to avoid the formation of dendrites.

The invention manages to obtain currents five times more than commercially available lithium batteries, so it is expected that it will not take long to reach the batteries we use every day.

Tennis the study on phys.org.