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White Graphene Can Make Batteries More Resilient to Heat

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 08:44AM

When recharging a battery, it will start to heat up and for many applications, that is not too big a problem, but in some cases that heat can kill the battery, and even ignite it. To address the issue, work is being done to develop new battery components that can take the heat. Researchers at Rice University have recently developed a new combined electrolyte and separator that can survive temperatures up to 150 ºC.

Last year this same group of researchers discovered a kind of clay could be used as an electrolyte that would work at up to 120 ºC. From that work they speculated that hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), or white graphene, could do an even better job. It is called white graphene because it is structurally similar to normal graphene, a form of carbon that is just one atom thick. Unlike graphene though, h-BN is an insulator and is also not a good ionic conductor. With properties like that, one would not expect it to improve a battery's performance, but it actually did. Despite being a relatively inert material, it combined with a piperidinium-based ionic liquid and lithium salt appeared to catalyze better reactions from the chemicals around it.

With the ability to operate from room temperature up to 150 ºC, the batteries using it can have very wide temperatures, which will be very important for some industrial and aerospace applications. For example, wellheads for the oil and gas industry require batteries that can survive the high temperatures they are exposed to. Non-rechargeable batteries have to be used currently, because only they can endure the temperatures involved, but now that may change.

Source: Rice University

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slick2500 on April 18, 2016 04:38
They already started adding Graphene to rc batteries.

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