Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Argonne battery technology helps power Chevy Volt

New Chevy Volt
New Chevy Volt

Abstract:
This month, thousands of new Chevy Volt owners will begin the real road tests of the first mass-produced plug-in hybrid electric car. While much of the car's engineering is unique, consumers may be unaware that some of its most extraordinary technology is inside the nearly 400-lb. battery that powers the vehicle in electric mode.

Argonne battery technology helps power Chevy Volt

Argonne, IL | Posted on January 24th, 2011

The battery's chemistry is based in part on a revolutionary breakthrough pioneered by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. The new development helps the Volt's battery—a lithium-ion design similar to those in your cell phone or laptop—last longer, run more safely and perform better than batteries currently on the market.

"To me this cuts right to the heart of green energy," said Jeff Chamberlain, who heads Argonne's battery research and development. "This battery technology is a step towards energy independence for the U.S.; it helps create jobs; and it can have a positive impact on the environment."

The story begins in the late 1990s, when the DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences funded an intensive study of lithium-ion batteries. "Existing materials weren't good enough for a high-range vehicle," explained Michael Thackeray, an Argonne Distinguished Fellow who is one of the holders of the original patent. "The Argonne materials take a big step forward in extending the range for an electric vehicle."

In order to improve the design, scientists had to know how batteries worked at the atomic level.

"What we really needed to do was understand the molecular structure of the material," said Argonne chemist Chris Johnson.

At its most basic level, a lithium battery is composed of a negatively charged anode and a positively charged cathode. Between them is a thin membrane that allows only tiny, positively charged lithium ions to pass through. When a battery is fully charged, all of the lithium ions are contained in the anode. When you unplug the battery from the charger and begin to use it, the lithium ions flow from the anode through the membrane to react with the cathode—creating an electrical current.

The team wanted to improve the cathode, the positively charged material. They began by using incredibly intense X-rays from Argonne's Advanced Photon Source synchrotron to monitor and understand reactions that occur in lithium batteries—in real time. Next, they set out to modify and optimize the cathode materials. Using new synthesis methods, they created lithium- and manganese-rich materials that proved remarkably more stable than existing designs.
Because manganese-rich cathodes are more stable than those used in today's batteries, the new batteries are safer and less likely to overheat. Manganese is cheap, so the battery will cost less to manufacture. The researchers also upped the upper charging voltage limit to 4.6 volts—higher than the usual operating voltage—and saw a tremendous jump in the battery's energy capacity.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Argonne National Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Products

Cutting-edge nanotechnologies are breaking into industries November 18th, 2016

STMicroelectronics’ Semiconductor Chips Contribute to Connected Toothbrush from Oral-B That Sees What You Don’t: Microcontroller and Accelerometer help brushers clean their teeth more effectively October 4th, 2016

Particle Works launches range of high quality magnetic nanoparticles August 31st, 2016

Oxford Nanoimaging to provide desktop super-resolution microscopes May 10th, 2016

Announcements

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Environment

Semiconductor-free microelectronics are now possible, thanks to metamaterials November 9th, 2016

First time physicists observed and quantified tiny nanoparticle crossing lipid membrane November 7th, 2016

Nanosensors on the alert for terrorist threats: Scientists interested in the prospects of gas sensors based on binary metal oxide nanocomposites November 5th, 2016

Marsden minds: Amazing projects revealed November 3rd, 2016

Energy

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

Automotive/Transportation

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016

Nanocellulose in medicine and green manufacturing: American University professor develops method to improve performance of cellulose nanocrystals November 7th, 2016

Diamond nanothread: Versatile new material could prove priceless for manufacturing: Would you dress in diamond nanothreads? It's not as far-fetched as you might think November 3rd, 2016

Hybrid nanostructures hold hydrogen well: Rice University scientists say boron nitride-graphene hybrid may be right for next-gen green cars October 25th, 2016

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

A Phone That Charges in Seconds? UCF Scientists Bring it Closer to Reality November 21st, 2016

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016

Vesper a Finalist for Two ACE Awards: Ultimate Products and Innovator of the Year -- Industry’s first piezoelectric MEMS microphone and Vesper CTO Bobby Littrell recognized for prestigious electronics-industry awards November 10th, 2016

Engineers develop new magnetic ink to print self-healing devices that heal in record time November 7th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project