The lithium-metal battery with this architecture had an energy density of 560 Wh/kg

Monday, October 4th, 2021

One of the more promising possibilities for improving lithium-ion batteries involves swapping out the graphite used in one of the battery’s electrodes for pure lithium metal, a material that can hold as much as 10 times the energy:

The researchers started off with what’s described as a cobalt-poor, nickel-rich layered cathode (NCM88) and a commercially available organic electrolyte called LP30. While the cathode reached high energy density, instability soon took hold and storage capacity decreased as the battery was cycled.

“In the electrolyte LP30, particles crack on the cathode,” explains Professor Stefano Passerini, Director of HIU. “Inside these cracks, the electrolyte reacts and damages the structure. In addition, a thick mossy lithium-containing layer forms on the anode.”

So the team swapped out the LP30 electrolyte for an alternative, and one that brought about profound gains in performance. Described as a non-volatile, poorly-flammable, dual-anion ionic liquid electrolyte (ILE), this ingredient proved to largely avoid the structural defects on the cathode and saved the battery from the fatal electrochemical reactions.


The lithium-metal battery with this architecture had an energy density of 560 Wh/kg. For context, there are research consortiums dedicated to breaking through the 500-Wh/kg density threshold in order to power next-generation electric vehicles, while today’s best-in-class lithium-ion batteries have energy densities of 250 to 300 Wh/kg.


  1. David Foster says:

    Interesting…I wonder what the impact on the *cost* of the battery would be? Lithium is now running about $19 per KG, looks like graphite is about $1.45/KG.

  2. Wang Wei Lin says:

    Too bad the environmental nuts won’t let us mine Li in the US. No such thing as a happy liberal regardless the issue.

  3. bob sykes says:

    500 Wh/kg is about 1.8 MJ/kg. Gasoline has an energy density of 46 MJ/kg, 25 times as much as the battery.

    These batteries are a bad joke.

  4. Goober says:

    The chemistry and physics of storing electricity via chemical means is very well understood. So well understood, in fact, that most scientists and engineers involved in this field don’t think that there are any “breakthroughs” possible.

    Essentially, they’re saying that the “batteries we got are the batteries we’re gonna get”. I couldn’t help but laugh when Elon Musk, after over a decade of research and development, rolled out his “new” batteries, with 50% goddamn percent more capacity than the old ones. 50% people! Then you look at the dimensions of the batteries and realize… they’re 50% bigger. They are, with a few minor and more or less meaningless tweaks, the exact same batteries as before, just 50% bigger and therefore with 50% more capcity…. This is where we are with battery technologuy at the moment. the new, improved gas tank that can make your car travel 50% further than before, all by allowing you to carry 50% more gasoline…

    The “breakthrough” associated with this article isn’t. They’ve known about this for some time, it’s just that these batteries would be prohibitively expensive and rare-materials intensive. They are not the solution we’re seeking.

    Also, as Bob stated above, to put things in perspective, these batteries are the equivalent of making a car that can currently go 200 miles between 8 hour charge periods, into cars that can go 250 miles between 8 hour charge periods, all at the cost of perhaps tens of thousands of dollars on the sticker price. Also, lithium mining is massively destructive, so any way we could maybe not tenfold increase our lithium consumption may be worth considering.

    This ain’t it. It’s more or less the same story – a nothingburger dressed up as a remarkable discovery by ignorant, breathless journalists seeking clicks and recognition from a largely chemistry-and-physics-ignorant public.

  5. Sam J. says:

    If you’re interested in batteries Robert Murry Smith has a ton of stuff on them. He’s sold some patents to Edison company for graphene batteries but then found that a activated carbon type battery can hold very large Charge/Battery. Most of his designs are combinations of capacitors and batteries so he’s getting much higher storage values than you would expect. Lately he has been working on some new type battery/cap. that use emulsions that have this super anomalous charge storage capacity. You make vesicles or another analogy is liposomes. Inside these are charged particles and “somehow” this multiplies the capacitance by some extraordinary amount like a million times more than normal capacitors(dielectric constant is raised dramatically somehow). This is combined with a normal battery reaction. I can’t say I understand it all, or that anyone else does yet, but it seems very promising. It may very well be that he will not reach the super heights of these 560 Wh/kg but…if you could get something really, really cheap made of carbon, sea salt and a little sulfur which is the kind of stuff he focuses on, with say 180 Wh/Kg or even less then it could be a huge deal changer. You could pack the car with more batteries and the cheap price would mean that ICE could not complete.

    I myself am interested in electric vehicles because it frees you from Oligarchical oil companies. As solar gets lower in price, and it will, then you could free yourself from these assholes who are trying to monopolize everything.

    There’s supposedly progress on solid state batteries with lower cost and higher performance. The guy who invented our present lithium battery everyone uses says he has figured out how to do this with sodium, potassium and lithium. People who do battery research say they wouldn’t believe it possible except for the fact that the guy who says he can invented the modern lithium-ion battery they all use now so when he says he can you have to listen.

    Also recently Toyota says they have a solid state battery they are going to produce. So things are not standing still.

    The amount of energy in fossil fuels is high but a shit load of it is wasted.

    I think that there’s a possible big super whopping chance that in the future flywheels will be a big thing. It would take some super cheap graphene or carbon nano tubes or some other super strong material and some cash to get this going but the numbers are really high. Here’s some that I saved from various charts and books. I’ve interpolated some of these values from specific strength to known Wh/kg for different materials. Here’s some normal stuff first and the numbers come from the tensile strength and density of the material giving you how fast you can spin it.

    Aluminum 28 Wh/kg
    Composite carbon fiber – 40% epoxy 52 Wh/kg
    Glass fiber E-Glass 180 Wh/kg
    Vectran 286 Wh/kg

    now some more exotic

    Silicon, monocrystalline (m-Si) 414 Wh/kg
    Toray T1000G fiber 491 Wh/kg
    Dyneema or Spectra (UHMWPE) 512 Wh/kg
    Multi-walled carbon nanotubes(low end) 793 Wh/kg
    Boron nitride nanotube 1,747 Wh/kg
    Multi-walled carbon Nnanotubes(high end) 4,761 Wh/kg
    Single wall carbon nanotube(low end) 5,341 Wh/kg
    Colossal carbon tube 8252 Wh/kg
    Graphene 17,944 Wh/kg
    Single wall carbon nanotube(high end) 53,418 Wh/kg

    If you look at the very high end materials they are mostly carbon and they have so damn much headroom to work with that even if they are not perfect they have huge Wh/kg potential. If the cost of processing could be lowered it would be akin to a new industrial revolution. It would be big deal. A lot of cost of advanced materials for manufacturing eventually reach down to near the cost of the material itself and carbon cost are next to nothing.

    I’m not saying this will happen overnight but the potential is high as can be and surely I’m not the only person that can see this. I think to make this work you have to have a fairly sophisticated system with bearings made with a small magnetic bearing, combined with electromagnetic control and I think possibly an electrostatic control that could use the high forces of electrostatics to keep the parts from touching. One thing about this is that if you could make the materials then the proving the lifetime for these would be much more straightforward than chemical batteries as it would just be a matter of the strength of the materials and keeping it below that which would cause it damage.

    I read a good book on flywheels and they concluded using fairly regular materials(this is before carbon nano-tubes and newer plastics) that strong steel alloy wire could be wound on a form and make really cheap flywheels. So I expect that some of these newer materials could be done the same way by making a weave of rope and wrapping it on a form.

  6. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Sam J: “I myself am interested in electric vehicles because it frees you from Oligarchical oil companies.”

    And makes you totally dependent on those politically-regulated electric utilities. Great trade!

    Batteries, hydrogen — they are merely conduits for moving energy from where it is released to where it is needed. They do not provide energy. The big question is how do we generate the needed electric power in the first place?

    Subsidized solar and wind cannot do it, not when the huge energy demand of building them is included. And that is apart from the Greenies’ evil racism in making young Africans work in dangerous cobalt mines and young Mongolians endure the pollution of lithium mining.

    Anyone who is serious about electric vehicles has to be out front demanding we build lots & lots of nuclear fission power plants.

  7. Bill says:

    A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that in order to get rid of gasoline and use electricity for cars shows we’d need to DOUBLE our electricity generation, currently about 4 trillion kWh.

    Just imagine how much this would cost if done with renewable energy sources, if it could be done at all.

    Better yet, don’t imagine it; I’ll tell you. Ford, a company founded in Dearborn, Mi. recently stated that it would be building two factories to make electric cars and that neither of these factories would be in Michigan.

    Why not? Because Michigan’s extremist politicians are demanding that coal and gas plants be closed and that renewable sources must be used instead. That means that electricity in Michigan will double and triple in cost in the next ten years.

    That is Ford’s stated reason for why it won’t build electric cars in Michigan – energy costs will be TOO EXPENSIVE.

  8. Sam J. says:

    Gavin Longmuir says, “And makes you totally dependent on those politically-regulated electric utilities.”

    I said right after what you quoted, “As solar gets lower in price, and it will, then you could free yourself from these assholes who are trying to monopolize everything.”

    Now you must have seen this so what it is likely you are doing is perpetrating a lie by taking out of context what I said and pretending that what I said was not practical. This is typical of propagandist and Hasbara. They do this constantly.

    “The big question is how do we generate the needed electric power in the first place?”

    10 meter x 10 meter 40% efficiency solar equals 240,000W-hr in 6 hours. Say, the roof of a house. We have 40% efficiency now or they are building the plant now. I think they can go higher than 40% but I won’t say how. Wind is viable and very powerful compared to solar most places.

    I hope some day there will be some sort of alcohol fuel cells of some sort for housing and maybe cars combined with other batteries.

    “Subsidized solar and wind cannot do it, not when the huge energy demand of building them is included.”

    Understand I am in no way opposed to nuclear. I don’t like pressurized water reactors but I’m not obsessed with them being shut down. I’m all for molten salt types. I do think the way the cooling pumps during grid shut off are run on pressurized water reactors is a mental break down completely.

    If they would put two or three cheap, basic, not even specialized design Stirling motors on the outlet steam piping of all light water reactors and then a generator that would charge the batteries running the pumps then light water would be far safer. I have no idea why they don’t do this it seems so basic and practical that it confounds me why no one is thinking of it. As long as the reactor was hot it would run the Stirling engine , which would run the pumps to cool it down.

    There’s something Elon Musk said that really made me think twice about nuclear power or at least pressurized light water reactors. He said that if you took the land the rector was on AND the land that the government requires for set asides for safety and covered them with normal solar cells you could get the same amount of power as the reactor. Now that’s a damn interesting thing. It really makes you think. I’ve driven all the way across the US several times and we have a really super unbelievable amount of empty scorching desert. Vast. If we were to cover over even a little tiny bit of this we could power the US off of solar. Right now that’s a little far fetched. We don’t have good enough batteries but we could make these. The flywheels I mentioned can be built. They are technically possible and most likely could be economical if some of the basic research could be publicly paid for. Without that I doubt it will be done as the evil villains running our economy are not known for any far sided thinking that doesn’t involve fucking us over(that they are somewhat good at). Any long term planning to make things better is squashed and the people running the companies are completely incompetent to do any sort of planning any farther than the next quarter.

    “…cobalt mines and young Mongolians endure the pollution of lithium mining…”

    The answer: carbon batteries, flywheels, etc.

    I believe with a few changes flywheels could be made cost effective. Look at the energy storage for Dyneema or Spectra (UHMWPE) 512 Wh/kg I quoted. That’s not a bad figure. Let’s say we cut it in half for a containment structure and safety then cut that by 30% we still have 180 Wh/kg which is not bad at all. Now let’s look at the price of UHMWPE with a fast search and we get,

    Best Price UHMWPE Synthetic Ice for Ice Rink
    FOB Price: US $ 3-4.9 / kg
    Min. Order: 10 kg

    So at 180 Wh/kg and this price per kg and 100 kW-hr, (larger Tesla model S battery),we get $1,666.66 so even if you double that to around $3,333.33 that’s some damn cheap batteries.

    Present cost of batteries are somewhere around $15,000 to $20,000. If you could cut $15,000 off the price of an electric car what do you think that would portend for the sale of electric cars?

    I bet the price of UHMWPE could be brought down it’s, if I’m not mistaken, polyethylene with super long chains that has the molecules stretched and aligned as it’s being made. Polyethylene is not that damn expensive and if enough of this equipment was made it could lower the cost even more.

    “In 2020, the average global price of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) stood at 815 U.S. dollars per metric ton.”

    So $0.82 a kg and if the processing is most of the cost then there’s a long way to go in reducing prices and we haven’t even talked about graphene which has obscenely higher strengths and the cost is plummeting as we speak.

    So don’t pretend I did not address this the cost of batteries or flywheels. We have prototypes right now. Anything that can be made in a lab can eventually, in this case for sure, be made on an assembly line.

    Oh and by the way I’m not against burning a shit load of coal. My feeling is we should subsidize solar for personal use and that will eventually over time allow more cost effective solar to be built. When it does become more cost effective then it will edge out coal and nukes. Likely base load power will be nuke or coal for a very long time and I have no problem with that.

  9. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Sam J foolishly said: “what it is likely you are doing is perpetrating a lie”

    Sam, it is very stupid to go around accusing other people of being liars. Very disappointing behavior, Sam. Hang your head in shame.

    I would explain to you the weaknesses, foolishness, and self-deception in your long screed, but there is no point in attempting a discussion with someone who first response to anything is to accuse other people of being liars.

    However, in the faint hope that you are not irredeemable, let me leave you with one thought about your batteries and flywheels: stored energy is similar to an explosive. That is why many more people have died from hydro-electric dam collapses than from nuclear power plant accidents.

  10. Sam J. says:

    Gavin Longmuir says, “Sam J foolishly said: ‘what it is likely you are doing is perpetrating a lie.’ Sam, it is very stupid to go around accusing other people of being liars. Very disappointing behavior, Sam. Hang your head in shame.”

    You constantly dissemble, push nonsense, try to derail any point made. I don’t believe any interaction with is honest or in any way that you are trying to give any sort of accurate input to anything. I believe it’s all bullshit, one up manship and deception of one sort or another. It’s typical Hasbara behavior. I believe it’s genetic because even when it serves no purpose Jews do this. They just can’t help themselves. I wouldn’t waste my time responding to you at all except I find it entertaining to point out you deceptive behavior. People eventually start to see this. Once they do they see it everywhere because the Jews run the whole entire news and entertainment control system. Once people start seeing this they really can’t unsee it. This of course makes the Jews position much more precarious which is a good thing.

    “…one thought about your batteries and flywheels: stored energy is similar to an explosive…”

    Duuuh maybe you could compare this to the energy used to cook a turkey in an oven. So ovens are explosives? (And gasoline is not?) Once again you try to derail things with nonsense.

    Here’s an interesting video about energy. Shows the amount of solar needed. It’s good.

  11. Sam J. says:

    Bill says,”…A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that in order to get rid of gasoline and use electricity for cars shows we’d need to DOUBLE our electricity generation, currently about 4 trillion kWh…”

    First let me make it clear I am not in any way a tree hugger(although I do like trees), anti-nuclear, anti-coal or any such nonsense.

    We need extra power to maintain a high standard of living but that doesn’t mean we can’t do so in a manner that promotes individual freedom, cleaner environment and lower cost.

    One of the big problems is not that we can’t generate higher power it’s that the difference between peak power and off peak use is so high. Elon Musk, who is incredibly sensible about a lot of these issues, has addressed this in an investors meeting. I learned some new things watching it.

    He notes that there’s absolutely no worry at all about lithium production. I didn’t know this. He talked about how he is now working more on Solar city more and has been working with the power companies because the power walls that people have with solar is very suited to power leveling across the grid. So if people hook to the grid they can level power use so that a massive increase in power plants is not needed if they store power in off peak periods.

    He says during the talk he plans to half the cost of batteries.

    Here’s where he answers questions at the meeting. All of this is good.

  12. Sam J. says:

    The question section is where he talks about stabilizing the grid with solar roofs.

  13. Bill says:

    Sam J. says, “We need extra power to maintain a high standard of living, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do so in a manner that promotes individual freedom, cleaner environment, and lower cost.”

    What do you think of this article by Michael Schellenberger about how China achieves its miraculously low prices for solar panels?

    China Made Solar Cheap With Coal, Subsidies, And “Slave” Labor — Not Efficiency

    For my money, nuclear is the only way to go.

  14. Sam J. says:

    “…What do you think of this article by Michael Schellenberger about how China achieves its miraculously low prices for solar panels?…”

    He may be right but…he sounds Jewish. A short search did not definitively answer the question but it does look that way. That being you can’t believe a damn thing Jews say about Chine(or anything at all). China has rejected Jewish control of their country. I expect that’s why the Jews have likely released the corona on the world and blamed it on China. Add to that their general demonization of China and you just can not trust the Jews on any point of interest about China. Maybe some of it is true, maybe some is hype lies. This guy has certainly changed his tune several times during his lifetime.

    Let’s say it is true. First I believe in subsidizing solar. If you use coal to make solar I don’t find that objectionable. After all coal makes watts once when you burn it but made into solar cells it produces more power. Like a heat pump makes more heat than directly heating air.

    I am NOT a fan boy of China,(except that they have told the Jews to fuck themselves which delights me), and their subsidized economy where they keep out our products, steal our tech and then dump on our country but that said the people who run our industry don’t give a flying fuck about building anything. They mostly want to mint cheap FED bucks and run the country into the ground. Selling off tech to China is fine by them if it gets them a 5% stock boost for a couple months. They don’t care about the future of the US…at all. Nada, Zero, They are worthless.

    It may very well be that the US solar plant failed because they never really cared if it made anything. I don’t know this and really have no idea I’m just so jaded about these people I find it hard to believe that they are in any way honest or doing anything useful. Mostly they just loot the treasury and since Obama made such a big deal about it likely it was just a pay off to supporters. They could have just wanted the subsidies to put in their pockets. I have no faith in these assholes at all.

    As for subsidies did you know the wind subsidies for windmills and solar panels are paid for by the US but made in China? Likely you do. That’s an abomination and I am NOT for this. I would raise the subsidies, only allow them for consumers and NOT fund companies beyond the experimentation stage. So yes to research, make sure the tech can’t be sold to China and only subsidize consumers.

    There’s no doubt at all that solar can move up in efficiency and lower cost. It’s coming. There’s lots of small research projects that have built stuff but as you likely know it takes a good bit of time to go from a lab to consumer if ever and China subsidizing their cells doesn’t help. I have no problem with tariffs even if it hurts us in the short run.

    Just because I’m for solar doesn’t mean I’ve stuck my head up my ass or I wear tie dye shirts.

    “…For my money, nuclear is the only way to go…”

    I’;m not seeing that as it appears to be more expensive than solar even right now “IF” the price of batteries come down. Possibly using flywheels. I’m not against nukes but I am against the idea that they are “the only way to go”. I find that absurd.

  15. Sam J. says:

    Perovskite Solar Cells Could Be the Future of Energy

    Present cost expected to be $00.25 per square foot with silicon present $4 to $10 per square foot.

    Let’s say we can get these to $0.50 a square foot this gets us to $80.68/kW compared to present $645.45/kW silicon. Combine that with some cheap flywheel material like I noted earlier and…we’re done. Solar will rule.

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