A Stable Lithium Anode – the “Holy Grail” of Battery Design

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A Stanford University team of researchers, including Nobel Prize winner and former U. S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Yi Cui, long familiar to CAFE Blog readers, are using carbon nanospheres to coat lithium electrodes and help them resist expansion problems that formerly fractured them, and to keep elements in the battery’s reactive electrolytes from dissolving them. This approach has enabled the team to craft a pure lithium anode, with all the promise of high energy density that such an electrode holds.   It’s also stable, a boon to longevity for these cells. As reported in the news release By Andrew Myers for the Stanford Engineering School, “’Of all the materials that one might use in an anode, lithium has …

Is This the Plop, Plop Fizz, Fizz of Energy?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Back in the early reaches of television advertising, one jingle was credited with nearly doubling sales of Alka-Seltzer, a popular over-the-counter remedy for acid indigestion.  “Plop, plop; fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is,” became a defacto instruction on how to use the pill, implying two were needed.  Alka-Seltzer’s users got the idea and sales went up appreciably, reinforced by new instructions on the packaging. The sparkly image of the “cure” brings to mind a current effort by State University of New York at Buffalo researchers to drop nano-sized particles of silicon in water, with resulting bubbles of hydrogen escaping in large enough quantities to power portable devices. They have, “Created spherical silicon particles about 10 nanometers in diameter. …