Lithium-Air Batteries: The Next Battery Revolution?

 

by Chad Redman

Energy storage technology is a fascinating field of research, boasting numerous potential replacements for the current cutting edge of battery technology – lithium-ion chemistry. One promising and widely researched alternative to lithium-ion batteries is the lithium-air battery. Lithium-air battery technology became widely known to researchers in the field in 2009, and has been the subject of over 300 research papers since 2011. The primary benefit of lithium-air technology is increased energy density; if fact, lithium-air battery technology has the potential to bring electric vehicle range up to competitive levels with internal combustion engines (Girishkumar et al., 2010). Lithium-air batteries with non-aqueous electrolytes (oxygen gas) can theoretically produce up to 3500 watt hours of energy per kilogram, or 1700 Wh/Kg in practical application (Kwabi, et al., 2014). Continue reading