Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lithium: Battery Of The Future: New Storage Material Improves Energy Density Of Lithium-ion Battery TNR.v, CZX.v, SQM, ROC, FMC, WLC.v, CLQ.v, AVL.to,


Technological progress today is taken for granted, but just twenty years ago mass market for mobile phone did not exist at all. Today its technological advance transformed businesses, economies and societies. Most people today are introduced first to Internet via mobile phones and not computers any more. It is the power of disruptive technology in action. It is how all major Bull markets were started: Automobiles, PCs, Internet. Next Big Thing, in our vision, will be an adoption of technological advance in storage of most convenient form of energy - electricity, when Lithium-ion batteries with its capacity, density and specific power made it possible to build an electric cars with all utility functions of a "normal car" and acceptable range for mass market consumers.




Lithium based battery solution is already an industry standard for advanced Hybrids and for all Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV). Industry insiders from automakers and battery producers are all expecting further rapid technological advance with price per battery going down in half with double capacity within next five years. It is a gestimation at this stage, but just check your mobile today and picture above for further thoughts on power of disruptive technology with a potential to affect all modern societies.
We have covered this topic already in:
Next Industrial Revolution - The Lithium and REE Bull is born.

And we are pleased that our estimations are reflected now in share prices of companies involved and news flow coming from this sector. You can find more information here:

Investing in Lithium and REE: Hype, Dreams and Economics.



Mass market for electric cars is already on its way even with existing technology, but its coming could be much more dramatic in scale if progress in price per battery capacity can drop below 250USD per kWh. Electric cars do not need automatic transmission with gear box to bring the same driving experience as in automatic conventional car. 250 USD per kWh will bring cost of battery for full BEV with average 20 kWh to 5000USD which will be comparable to conventional power train. After the prices for batteries will drop substantially, range extension will become crucial in further market penetration. Please, do not forget that idea in the lab has a long way to go before it hit the road, but Mobile Communication Revolution is still vivid with its memories from early nineties, when advance in quality, price, weight and functions could be hardly imagined just twenty years ago. Talking about time - International Lithium Corp. put a new presentation on its website with timescales for different type of Lithium and REE deposits. If we are going to enjoy advance in Lithium-ion battery's technology in our electric cars in five years time on a truly mass market scale with penetration more then 5% Lithium supply must be doubled. Time is today to develop the new secured resources for strategic commodities of the nearest future.







ScienceDaily (Oct. 30, 2009) — High-performance energy storage technologies for the automotive industry or mobile phone batteries and notebooks providing long battery times -- these visions of the future are being brought one step nearer by scientists from Graz University of Technology.
Researchers at the Institute for Chemistry and Technology of Materials have developed a new method that utilises silicon for lithium-ion batteries. Its storage capacity is ten times higher than the graphite substrate which has been used up to now, and promises considerable improvements for users.
The new findings -- which came to light in the "NanoPoliBat" EU project -- have been recently submitted to the patent office by researchers together with their co-operation partner Varta Microbattery.
Modern electronic devices need more energy and even the automotive industry is hankering after increasingly powerful energy storage systems. The technological development of battery research has been inadequate for some time now. "A real revolution is needed for the development of the next generation. We need new storage materials for lithium-ion batteries," explains battery researcher Stefan Koller, who is familiar with the topic from his doctoral thesis. Together with colleagues from science and industry, he has managed to develop such a substrate material for electrochemical reactions at a low price.
Silicon gel on graphite
In the newly developed process, researchers utilise a silicon-containing gel and apply it to the graphite substrate material. "In this way the graphite works as a buffer, cushioning the big changes in volume of the silicon during the uptake and transfer of lithium ions," explains Koller.
Silicon has a lithium-ion storage capacity some ten times higher than the up-to-now commercially used graphite. The new material can thus store more than double the quantity of lithium ions without changes to the battery lifetime.
This method is far cheaper than the previous ones in which silicon is separated in the gas phase. The challenge lies in the poor storage density of materials in the counter electrode in the whole battery, something which we have been doing intensive research on," says Koller."
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