Dual ion battery

Project Overview

Duration: 2019 – onwards

This research stream is being conducted as part of the activities of the ANU Battery Lab.

Contact: Dr Alexey Glushenkov, Research Lead, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program, ANU. Email: alexey.glushenkov@anu.edu.au

Collaborators: MEET Battery Centre, the University of Münster, Germany  and AJ. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute, Drexel University, USA.

Lithium-ion batteries are state-of-the-art energy storage solutions for many applications including power tools, portable electronics, electric vehicles and stationary storage. These well-established batteries operate via the so called “rocking chair” mechanism in which lithium ions react sequentially with negative and positive electrodes. Lithium-ion batteries demonstrate attractive voltages (3.6-3.85 V) and energy densities (100–265 Wh/‎kg). Their best energy density can be achieved via the use of a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide cathode. This electrode material requires the use of the rare chemical elements, nickel and cobalt.

This research stream is focused on alternative high voltage battery systems that utilise different processes in the negative and positive electrodes. Similar to lithium-ion batteries, the negative electrode works due to the electrochemical interaction with lithium ions, but the positive electrode stores charge due to the electrochemical reaction with negative ions present in the electrolyte. 

The clear advantages of dual-ion batteries are that nickel and cobalt are not used as the cathodes are typically made from carbon or organic materials and the negative ion intercalation may happen at very high potentials, considerably higher than potentials of state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery cathodes.

“Dual-ion batteries represent an interesting high voltage alternative to the currently dominant lithium-ion batteries,” said Dr Alexey Glushenkov, Research Lead for the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at ANU. “Due to their distinct operating principles these batteries may avoid the use of critical elements such as nickel and cobalt.”

To delve into the potential of this next generation battery technology ANU researchers are collaborating with the MEET Battery Centre at the University of Münster in Germany. There is a staff and student exchange with Australian researchers travelling to Germany and German researchers travelling to Australia, in addition to virtual opinion exchanges via videoconferencing.

The research activities of this stream assist the development of new battery systems that will be able to complement lithium-ion batteries in appropriate applications. These activities are part of a broad research program enabled by the newly established ANU Battery Lab.

This project is supported by an ARC Discovery Grant valued at $420,000.