Battery Research: Bionics Reduces Filling Time

The energy density and charge rate of lithium-ion batteries can be increased by reducing the pore size of the electrodes.  However, this makes it more difficult to ensure that the pores are completely filled with the electrolyte.  Current processes require several hours of elevated temperatures or a vacuum.

The Competence E initiative at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is an interdisciplinary project focused on systems solutions for electric energy storage that can be applied to mobile and stationary applications.  Based on the principles of how water is transported in tall trees, researchers have modified the electrodes to improve wetting, reducing the time to fill the electrodes from hours to minutes.  KIT is moving quickly to commercialize the process.

The press release mentions that the interdisciplinary team is comprised of "physicists, chemists, materials researchers, and process engineers" - biologists are conspicuous by their absence.  If I get more information, I will update this post.

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nhoeller's picture

Further Details from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

I received an update from a researcher at the Systems Management Competence E center.  Details of the technology are not available due to the in-progress patent application, but it involves more than capillary action.  The team working on the project is made up of engineers, chemists and physicists who were able to find the required information from existing literature.