FABLE-Con - Fast and stable: New solid electrolytes for Lithium Batteries

Project: Research project

Description

To boost Europe’s current transformation to efficient low-emission transport and a sustainable energy economy advanced Li-ion battery (LIB) technologies are highly needed to efficiently store electricity from solar, wind, or tidal and, thus, to ultimately cut our dependency on fossil fuels.
In order to realize those technologies, the amount of energy that can be stored in a given volume or weight, has to increased significantly. Doing so would, for example, improve the range of battery-powered electric vehicles or make residential energy storage more feasible. This can be achieved through novel materials with the ability to store a large amount of Li+ per volume and weight together with a relative ease of inserting or removing those Li+. Moreover, the materials need to be prepared via economic routes to compete commercially with combustion engines in a widespread, affordable manner.
A LIB is comprised of a positive and negative electrode, which house the Li+, and an electrolyte that separates the two electrodes, while enabling the shuttling of Li+ between them. Currently, such LIBs are limited by the instability of the electrolytes in the presence of certain electrodes that would allow higher energy densities. This poses major safety and battery performance concerns that make these types of LIBs commercially unviable. Therefore, it is of great interest for researchers worldwide, from both academia and industry, to develop new materials to overcome these limitations.
Herein, I hypothesize that naturally abundant Cryolithionite (Na3Al2Li3F12) can be modified in a way to exceed the performance of the currently available electrolytes making it potentially “game changing” for next-generation LIB. Moreover, to satisfy the need for lower material costs, Cryolithionite can be prepared from relatively cheap elements without energy intensive synthesis techniques.
My approach is to tune the chemistry of Cryolithionite to achieve the properties desirable in battery applications. This method will focus on the substitution of Al with other elements to increase the amount of additional Li+ in the structure. This ansatz is expected to lead to rapid Li+ transport between the electrodes enabling facile inserting and removing of Li+ during charge and discharge. A wide variety of synthesis and characterization techniques will be applied to synthesize these materials, understand their fundamental properties, and implement the most promising into advanced LIB.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/01/2028/02/21