How do you make electrical vehicles have more autonomy and a longer life cycle? Just add carbon to its battery, says Karim Zaghib, professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science of Concordia University, along with his colleagues, in a new review paper published in the aptly titled peer-reviewed journal, Batteries.
The tricky part is “how” to add the carbon to the cathode of the lithium-ion battery, the tip marked with + (plus) at one end of the battery. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used these days in smartphones and electrical vehicles.
Zaghib and colleagues reviewed peer-reviewed publications ranging from 2015 to 2022 to document the various methods and variables to consider while adding carbon to lithium-ion batteries’ cathodes. Each method has its pros and cons and would have an impact on the performance and lifecycle of the rechargeable batteries.
They also foresee that future batteries will be manufactured in a fully solid state, rather than the current practice of using a liquid electrolyte solution. The shift would ultimately increase safety by reducing the risk of fire hazards, make the batteries last longer and render them more sustainable. This will be made possible thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, which will lower experimental expenses and time to test and optimize.
They conclude that carbon-lithium-ion batteries will indeed bring many benefits to the energy storage industry sector, noting that a few companies, such as Tesla, CATL, BYD, are already making the transition.