SK Innovation has announced that it is working with Professor John Goodenough to develop next-generation battery technology. This will involve a special electrolyte for lithium metal batteries.
Goodenough, Nobel Laureate for Chemistry in 2019 and known as the “Father of the Lithium Ion Battery”, and Hadi Khani of the University of Texas, intend to develop a gel polymer electrolyte for a lithium metal battery to achieve higher energy density and improved safety at competitive costs.
The new electrolyte is expected to suppress dendrite growth and shorten the time to market for a solid-state battery. The dendrites, i.e. tiny needle-like projections, can cause all kinds of problems in batteries – in the simplest case it is the capacity of the cell, in the worst case, it can lead to battery failure or even safety risks.
With the gel-polymer electrolyte system, Goodenough and Khani want to transport lithium ions more evenly and filter out unwanted ions in the process. “Together with SK innovation, I hope we can open the next-generation battery era,” said Goodenough.
But as is so often the case in battery research, the system needs to be further developed from the laboratory scale so that it can also be used on larger and more powerful cells. Seongjun Lee, Chief Technology Officer of SK Innovation, has high hopes for the technology, which he expects to deliver an “innovative lithium metal battery” that is “safe and cost-effective.
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