Environmentally Friendly Battery Without IBM Heavy Metals
IBM developed a new cobalt-free battery using materials from seawater. This new battery performs better than the existing lithium-ion batteries and has a lower risk of ignition.
In the near future, electric vehicles will play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are very harmful to the world, but their current content makes it a bit difficult. Nowadays, most electric vehicles operate with very heavy metals such as cobalt and lithium-ion batteries, which are far from good mining conditions and have limited supply. However, IBM Research Battery Lab has developed a solution to this problem: a new battery that does not contain heavy metals. Moreover, this new battery will be produced from seawater materials.
According to IBM, the cost and charging time of the new design (less than 5 minutes to reach a charge level of 80 percent) is lower than the existing lithium-ion batteries, while the power density and energy efficiency are considerably higher. In addition, the battery can be used in airplanes, smart energy networks, electric cars and trucks as the battery has less flammability.
The content of the new battery consists of cobalt and nickel-free cathode material and a small number of primary materials, a liquid electrolyte. This unique combination suppresses lithium metal dendrites during charging, reducing the chance of the battery igniting.
The team has partnered with the well-known automotive brand Mercedes-Benz, electrolyte supplier Central Glass and battery manufacturer Sidus to take the new battery beyond IBM Research Lab. While research is in progress, IBM Research will use artificial intelligence to improve battery performance and to search for safer and higher-performance materials.