Researchers at the U.S Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory are working to develop commercially viable Li-air batteries.
Li-air batteries use a catalytic air cathode that supplies oxygen, an electrolyte and a lithium anode. The technology has the potential to store almost as much energy as a tank of gasoline, and will have a capacity for energy storage that is five to 10 times greater than that of Li-ion batteries.
The DOE has awarded the lab $8.8 million to build out and outfit three battery research facilities that will be used for battery prototyping, materials production scale-up and post-test analysis.
“The obstacles to Li-air batteries becoming a viable technology are formidable and will require innovations in materials science, chemistry and engineering,” said Argonne Director Eric Isaacs. “We have a history of taking on scientific challenges and overcoming them. Argonne is committed to developing Li-air battery technologies. In fact, we’ve made it a ‘grand research challenge’ at the laboratory.”