Solid-State Progress at the University of Michigan

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Battery breakthrough: Doubling performance with lithium metal that doesn’t catch fire Longer-lasting drop-in replacements for lithium ion could be on the horizon These two headlines top a report by Angela Wegrecki from the University of Michigan’s News Service, and despite their hopeful vibes, may even elicit yawns.  We see similar claims regularly, accompanied by promises of a five-year wait for the production models to begin rolling off the line. Most batteries are developed by researchers working with small budgets and small facilities.  Thomas Edison had 40 assistants working with him to test the 1,600 different filaments tried before hitting on a carbonized sewing thread that gave the light he was seeking.  The University of Michigan has 2,700 square feet and …

A Car (or Airplane) With That Cool Carbon Fiber Look

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A research team at Australia’s Queensland University of Technology combined talents with scientists at Rice University in Houston, Texas to produce all-carbon structural panels that rival the best lithium-ion batteries for energy density, but can also be charged as quickly as supercapacitors.  In fact, the panels are supercapacitors, “a ‘sandwich’ of electrolyte between two all-carbon electrodes,” made into “a thin and extremely strong film with a high power density,” according to researchers. These lightweight supercapacitor panels can be combined with “regular” batteries to “dramatically boost the power of an electric car.”  This application would not be unlike Dr. Emile Greenhalgh and Volvo’s structural/electrical body panels. Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Jinzhang Liu, Professor Nunzio Motta and PhD researcher Marco Notarianni, from QUT’s Science and Engineering …