Army Researchers Improve Battery Safety With New Cathode Chemistry

Soldiers regularly have to carry large, heavy lithium ion batteries to power communications devices and other remote technologies. Photo by U.S. Army

Soldiers regularly have to carry large, heavy lithium ion batteries to power communications devices and other remote technologies. Photo by U.S. Army

May 21, 2019 | Source: UPI, Brooks Hays, 10 May 2019

May 10 (UPI) -- Scientists with the U.S. Army have developed a new type of cathode chemistry that makes batteries safer and more efficient.

Currently, Soldiers must regularly carry batteries weighing between 15 and 20 pounds. But thanks to a new type of cathode and electrolyte, soldiers could soon be carrying safer and more efficient batteries weighing half as much.

Army researchers were able to boost lithium-ion battery energy density by using a totally aqueous electrolyte. The electrolyte is free of transition metal and boasts high-capacity energy storage.

"Such a high energy, safe and potentially flexible new battery will likely give the Soldiers what they need on the battlefield: reliable high-energy source with robust tolerance against abuse," Kang Xu, senior scientist at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory, said in a news release. "It is expected to significantly enhance the mobility and lethality of the Soldier while unburdening logistics requirements."

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