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Cambridge Researchers Preview Lithium-Oxygen Battery Demo

By Paul Pajarillo , Nov 01, 2015 06:05 PM EST
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The University of Cambridge Researchers has proclaimed the makings of a lithium-oxygen battery. This technology could energize electric cars and other power-hungry devices better than the current lithium-ion batteries.

School scientists have made a battery whose technology could power up electric vehicles and other battery-type gadgetries far more than the present lithium-ion technology. Though it may look like it is still decades away from reality, the University of Cambridge unveiled a lab demo concept of a lithium-oxygen battery that brings down many of the walls that have hampered the progress of this technology.

The school researchers expressed that the battery claims high energy density, about 93 percent capable than prior efforts and can be recharged more than a thousand times. Cambridge Chemistry Professor Clare Grey spearheaded the research. She calls the concept a step forward to a practical battery, though with many obstacles in the future. The scientists deep-rooted that it could take a while before a practical lithium-oxygen battery is made available, because the battery's capacity to charge and discharge is very low.

For electric cars, a fully-charged compact battery has been unable to attain that of an engine running with a full tank of gas because present lithium-ion batteries do not pack that kind of kick. Although first introduced in 1991, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries helped power portable devices such as smartphones and laptops as well as giving life to electric cars.

Also known as lithium-air, the batteries have the likelihood to distribute desired energy because of its high power density. It has the ability to store power for a given mass that could be 10 times compared to that of lithium-ion batteries and gasoline. The cost is low and the weight is light so as to compare with the lithium-ion technology.

Although, problems surround the lithium-oxygen batteries like its lifespan and capacity, troublesome efficiency, chemical reaction, performance and safety issues. It also needs pure oxygen rather than air itself. Still under development, the school already made its steps patenting this discovery as an intellectual property of Cambridge Enterprises.

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