Fraunhofer: Aluminum ion battery as successor to lithium technology

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Fraunhofer: Aluminum ion battery as successor to lithium technology-lithium

The forecasts are in agreement: they all say a drastically rising demand for electrical storage for mobile and stationary applications. To meet demand, there are considerable efforts in the further development of established battery systems. At the same time, reinforced material systems, so-called post-lithium systems, must be led to marketability in a foreseeable period, so the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB in a recent communication.

It offers technology development the great advantage of setting sustainable cell concepts from the start. In addition to safety and cost aspects, these consider the substitution of critical raw materials, a recycling-fair design and other requirements of the circular economy. A promising battery technology for this are aluminum-ion batteries developed on the Fraunhofer Technology Center High Performance Materials THM in Freiberg.

At THM, the Working Group of Battery Materials of the Fraunhofer IISB has been researching lithium-free and aluminum-based cell chemistry for about five years. In addition to a theoretically quad higher volumetric energy density as metallic lithium, the battery material aluminum offers other tangible advantages in practice. In lithium-ion cells, a high purity and coated aluminum foil acts as a power collector. In the aluminum ion battery (AIB), however, a simple aluminum foil simultaneously assumes the function of the anode. In this case, the aluminum no special quality requirements are made and commercially cost-effective films are completely sufficient for the purpose. Likewise, aluminum batteries offer a high degree of safety, because there is no fire hazard as in the use of lithium.

A cell chemistry with potential

Ulrike Wunderwald, Head of the Working Group Battery Materials of the Fraunhofer IISB, reports on promising developments: “In our laboratory systems, graphite powder as a cathode already showed energy densities of 135Wh / kg with respect to the active mass. The battery can be loaded and unloaded in a time of less than 30 seconds. The process is reversible and we already have more than 10 with the laboratory cells.000 cycles achieved with a charging efficiency of more than 90 percent “. The latest results of the researchers show that even more than twice as many charging cycles are possible, which is considerably above what established lithium-ion batteries achieve. “Our cells work under normal ambient conditions and we already work with application-relevant cell concepts such as button cells and pouch cells. This cell chemistry has a tremendous potential, “says Wunderwald.

Through its simplified construction, aluminum ion batteries offer the advantage of a cost-effective production with reduced process effort. Aluminum is uncritical as a resource and must not even be of particular quality as a battery material. Likewise, in aluminum-ion batteries, favorable electrolytes can be used on the basis of urea, as current research results of the Fraunhofer THM show. The proven rapid charging capacity at high cycle stability and high charging efficiency speaks for the electrical properties of this cell chemistry.

The relatively low risk risks, the waiver of critical raw materials and not least the cost advantage very clearly show the potential of the aluminum ion battery as a reasonably priced and secure solution for future electric storage. A realistic application that could succeed in a few years, for example, highly dynamic power storage in stationary systems, since mostly cost-effective cells with high power density are needed here. Such memory are indispensable for the widespread use of regenerative energy sources and thus an essential building block of the energy transition.

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4 thoughts on “Fraunhofer: Aluminum ion battery as successor to lithium technology”

  1. This is such a classic message in all electric portals: Company / UNI / INSTITUT XY has invented a wonder battery. He can do everything, costs nothing and recover the environment. A distance in a prototype, where you could then test at least weight, size, capacity and charging speed, there is never. That’s the way here.

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  2. Today, a lot of electricity is cached in pumped storage power plants in Germany.
    The angular degree of a PSW is approx. 75-85%. There are also power losses, as the PSW is not there on the net where there are operational benefits for the network. But on good locations for the PSW. Large battery stores could be directly connected to substations.
    Today, a PSW with 1GW and 1000 full-load hours can only need the annual production of some large wind farms for his losses.
    Therefore, the long-term economic battery storage with good efficiency would be advantageous.

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  3. Batteries are not only important in the e-car.

    A realistic application that could succeed in a few years, for example, highly dynamic power storage in stationary systems, since mostly cost-effective cells with high power density are needed here.

    More important are batteries in stationary application. Millions of households are likely to ensure self-sufficient power supply in connection with PV systems in a few years in connections with PV systems, allowing a self-sufficient power supply, without heating oil, natural gas, wood / pellets, charcoal, etc.

    For this purpose, especially affordable batteries, whether it is the aluminum-ion battery or a different type of battery, that does not matter, the main thing is cheap, so that you can afford many citizens.

    The industry is then allowed to beat around with the hydrogen and the E-Fuels.

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