Week 6-12 May 2019
Welcome to the new issue of Last Week In Batteries digest!
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This is a very basic review of last week's events relevant to the battery and fuel cell industries. We do not pretend to be experts in this space but as investors we find such an overview helpful. The digest is intentionally very brief and dry and is intended as a demonstration rather as an end product. We'd love to hear what tools/software/platforms you use to stay abreast of the events in your industries of interest: please answer our anonymous questionnaire.
Non-flammable Li-ion batteries
US Army and University of Maryland chemists have created a Li-ion battery that uses non-flammable aqueous electrolyte and halogens in electrodes instead of cobalt and nickel. The battery reportedly has higher energy density than traditional Li-ion batteries. Let's hope this technology will be put to peaceful use.
Impact areas: Li-ion battery performance and safety
Testing methods for new Li-ion batteries
A team of researchers from several US and UK institutions have reviewed the various methods used by scientists to test their new battery designs. Such tests differ significantly based on various factors, causing lack of comparability between their results. This review could lead to a unified testing framework that would allow comparing new designs as apples-to-apples and would speed up the time to market for new batteries.
Impact areas: Battery research
Study of lithium hot spots
Scientists from Stanford University and the Department of Energy have put Li-ion batteries under the microscope to study the behavior of tiny hot spots inside. Their research shows that the hotter areas lead to faster-growing dendrites, which can cause fire or explosion. A better understanding of these processes should lead to safer battery designs.
Impact areas: Li-ion battery safety
Longer-lasting fuel cells
University of Waterloo researchers have designed a fuel cell that is "far more durable" due to "delivering a constant, rather than fluctuating, amount of electricity." According to them, the new fuel cell is much simpler, cheaper and "lasts at least 10 times longer than current technology, an improvement that would make them economically practical, if mass-produced, to power vehicles with electricity."
Impact areas: Fuel cell costs and performance
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