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The TECHNOLOGY

Over the past few years, researchers have been working on lithium-air battery, which is estimated could hold 5 to 10 times as much energy as a lithium-ion battery of the same weight and double the amount for the same volume. In theory, the energy density could be comparable to that of gasoline.

There is no other battery that has a potential to provide up to 10 times energy density like the Lithium Air.  In a Lithium Air battery, the anode is made of lithium. The cathode is oxygen, drawn from the surrounding air.  Instead of carrying Oxygen as a reagent in the battery as in the Lithium Ion battery, the Lithium Air battery use oxygen available abundantly from the environment, thus, we can save weight and volume.

As the lithium oxidizes, it releases energy. Pumping electricity into the device reverses the process, expelling the oxygen and leaving pure lithium. While it is currently feasible to have a lithium-air battery for one-time usage, it is a great challenge to make Lithium Air rechargeable.

To be able to develop a rechargeable Lithium Air Battery, one need to find the kinds of electrode materials could promote the reversible processes of electrochemical reactions that take place in these batteries.

Rechargeable lithium-air batteries face several challenges. For one, lithium reacts violently with water, so the battery's electrolyte cannot contain any, and water vapor must be separated from incoming air. Lithium in metallic form, which is used in lithium-air batteries, is highly reactive in the presence of even minuscule amounts of water. This is not an issue in current lithium-ion batteries because carbon-based materials are used for the negative electrode.

Turning the lithium oxide—the product of discharging the battery—back to lithium is difficult and only partially possible even when assisted by special catalysts: The oxide builds up and retards the process, limiting the number of charge-discharge cycles to a mere handful. Before lithium-air batteries can find use in hybrid and electric cars, they must be able to handle thousands of such cycles.

In addition, the process of charging the Lithium Air battery is a relatively slow process as compared with the Lithium Ion Battery. 

Most attempts to improve the design of lithium ion batteries have tackled the problem at the macroscopic scale, but work is now focusing on the nanoscale. Nanomaterials were slow to enter the field of energy storage because the effective increase in the electrodes’ surface area raised the risk of secondary reactions involving electrolyte decomposition.

Carbon Nanotubes

In collaboration with our partners, NASA Ames Research Center and California Institute of Nanotechnology,Lithium Air Industries brings unique expertise in nanotechnology to solve some fundamental problems in the development of Lithium Air battery technologies.

Lithium Air Industries (LAI) has developed a new generation of ultra-high energy density lithium air rechargeable batteries.

Our scientists were able to encapsulate the lithium metal core using solid electrolyte nanomaterials membranes. The solid electrolyte selectively allows lithium ions to pass through, but impervious to liquids and gases. With this unique design, the lithium core is electrochemically active but chemically isolated from the external electrolyte, enabling the redox reaction of Lithium Air taking place, which creates a remarkable high energy density.

At a nominal electropotential of about 3.27 volts, the theoretical specific energy for a lithium/air rechargeable battery is 5,532 Wh/kg , which is about 10 times that of Li-ion battery chemistry that has a theoretical specific energy of about 400 Wh/kg.

Our research team lead by our director Lloyd L. Tran is currently developing Lithium Air Technology that can potentially provides 10 times more energy density than the lithium ion battery technologies. The newly developed Lithium Air Technology will be used to power an AMPTRAN electric car that will go for 400-500 miles between charges. The Lithium Air Battery technology developed by Lloyd Tran is based on proprietary Nanocomposite Technologies.

Lloyd Tran- Scanning Electron Microscope

 

Lloyd Tran-AMPTRAN Electric Car

For more information, please contact us

Contact us

FOR MORE INFORMATION: please contact:

Lithium Air Industries
49000 Milmont Drive
Fremont, CA 94538 USA
Tel. 510-657-6266
http://www.lithiumair.us

 

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