Crushed, Rolled, or Slivered, Silicon Boosts Batteries

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Two different Rice University research teams are applying different but related approaches to using silicon in lithium batteries to make them more energy dense and longer-lived. One team recently came up with a paint-on lithium battery, announced a way to use otherwise waste silicon by crushing it and spreading it on anodes in their test batteries. This has implications for manufacturing because of the simplicity of the process. Dvice.com gives one hint as to why this might be good. “In lithium-ion batteries, for example, the anode is usually graphite, because it works well and is cheap. “You know what else is cheap? Silicon. The Earth is 28% silicon, making it the second most abundant crustal element by mass after oxygen. …

Rice – That’s Nice, and Lights Up, Too

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Rice University announced the development of a spray-on (in this case airbrushed) coating that stores electricity, a bit reminiscent of Stanford’s paper battery on which a coating could be applied to act as a battery. Mitsubishi has demonstrated a paint that could act as an extremely thin-film solar cell, but Rice’s technology shows promise. Five layers comprise the various components of a lithium-ion battery and can seemingly be applied to almost any surface, including in one demonstration, a beer stein – showing an intoxicating range of possibilities. But Pulickel Ajayan, materials science professor has more serious considerations. According to the University’s news.  “This means traditional packaging for batteries has given way to a much more flexible approach that allows all …