The popcorn-like, gray matter-esque ceramic material is the product of Maryland’s ION Storage Systems, using ceramic from Saint-Gobain. The latter company brings hundreds of years of experience to the table. And if the innovation works out, it could be the solid-state electric vehicle “battery of the future,” according to a report from CleanTechnica.
Solid-state batteries use a solid electrolyte in cells instead of a liquid one. The electrolyte is the part of the battery where ions (traditionally lithium ones) pass back and forth during the charge-discharge cycle, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
The department calls solid power packs an “energy-dense and safer substitute to the traditional lithium-ion batteries prevalent in electric vehicles.” In fact, the government is pumping $16 million into domestic solid-state manufacturing and other advanced technologies called flow batteries.
The porous structure and a “dense separator layer” prevent wear-and-tear problems that happen with other batteries, including the formation of dendrites, according to ION. Dendrites are metal, branch-like structures that form as a battery is used. They can cause a short circuit.
“The architecture addresses the technological barriers that have historically plagued solid-state batteries, and it enables critical next-generation performance metrics for widespread adoption — including high-energy density, strong cycling performance, wide temperature range, and fast charging,” Toyota Ventures’s Lisa Coca told CleanTechnica.
ION now plans “in subsequent years” to scale manufacturing with Saint-Gobain’s ceramic powder to provide the brainy battery tech to “defense, aerospace, consumer electronics, electric vehicle, and grid storage customers,” a company news release stated.
“We pride ourselves on our ecosystem of world-class, like-minded innovators and partners who share our values and commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable, future,” ION CEO Ricky Hanna said in a statement.
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