Scientists have been working with lithium-air batteries for a long time and they show promise for being the next generation replacement for rechargeable batteries in all sorts of devices. The problem so far has been that lithium peroxide, a solid precipitate that clogs the pores of an electrode, has formed during all work with the battery tech.
Argonne battery scientists have now been able to produce a stable lithium superoxide instead of lithium peroxide during battery discharging. Lithium superoxide is able to easily dissociate into lithium and oxygen allowing the battery to function at a high efficiency and providing a good cycle life.
The scientists say that this discovery opens the door to the potential for a new kind of battery. While this is certainly a good step on the path to developing new types of batteries, a lot more research is needed before the battery is where it needs to be according to the team.
In theory, the lithium superoxide allows for the creation of a lithium-air battery using a closed system that doesn’t need oxygen from the environment making it safer and more efficient than open systems that do require oxygen from the environment. A lithium superoxide battery has the potential to offer five times the energy density of lithium ion batteries.