As part of continued research conducted by Jones & Partners into developments within the technology market, the studio visited the Battery Tech Expo 23 at Silverstone Race Course.
The event was packed with meaningful insights from all corners of the industry. The day included talks from respected leaders in the market, talking about how we can all help shape the future of battery technology in our products.
Below are some of the key insights into current and future development in the battery market.
Silicon anodes offer a much higher energy density than traditional graphite anodes, as 1 atom of silicone can store 4 atoms of lithium compared to 6 graphite atoms to store 1 lithium atom. This results in a 24X atomic efficiency increase.
However, when charging the battery, the silicon expands 3-4X, and after a few cycles, this swelling and deflating causes it to crack.
Currently, the amount of silicone in batteries is around 5-10%, but researchers are looking to increase it to a 50/50 split to provide both structure from the carbon but with the efficiency of the Silicone.
Sodium-ion batteries are a type of rechargeable battery that utilize sodium ions to store and discharge energy. These batteries are comparable to lithium-ion batteries, however, replace Lithium with Sodium.
There are a few reasons that sodium batteries are making their way into the market such as Sodium being more abundant and affordable than lithium. Using Sodium in batteries is also a lot safer due to them having no thermal runaway issues.
However, sodium has poor energy density compared to Lithium, which results in bigger and heavier batteries.
Solid-state batteries use solid lithium metal that gets stripped when discharging, and when being charged, this process reverses.
The battery is non-flammable, can operate when punctured without leaking or exploding, and can charge 4-6X faster than traditional lithium batteries.
However, the volume of the battery fluctuates considerably when the lithium is stripped and rebuilt, which can cause the battery to crack and break over time.
Mass production of solid-state batteries is expected to happen between 2025-2030, with considerable leaps in research and supply chain have already been achieved.
It is possibly the most viable short-term advancement in battery technology on the current market.
Drexel University's chemical engineers have devised a new method of stabilizing a rare form of sulfur that can be used in carbonate electrolytes found in commercial lithium-ion batteries. With this breakthrough, sulfur batteries can now become commercially viable, offering three times the capacity of traditional lithium-ion batteries and a lifespan of over 4,000 recharges, which is equivalent to a decade of use.
The significance of this development is further anticipated due to the potential of mitigating concerns over the environmental and human impact of sourcing raw materials for batteries (such as Cobolt), which is mostly done through imports from countries such as China and Congo.
Jones & Partners continues to further develop our expertise in the technology market and strives to stay at the pinnacle of all new emerging prospects within all areas of our work. We look forward to this year's advancements.