Solid-state electrolytes coming to car batteries : Page 2 of 2

April 05, 2017 //By Nick Flaherty
Solid-state electrolytes coming to car batteries 
This year could mark the first significant switch to new materials in the electrolyte compartment, with both large and small companies trying to bring inorganic and polymer electrolytes to commercial fruition, says Dr Lorenzo Grande, Technology Analyst at market researcher IDTechEx.

The problem with that is twofold: first, lithium is a very reactive material and does not cycle reversibly in most cases; secondly, it has to be made thin enough (20 microns and below) to truly make use of its high specific capacity. Solving both issues comes however at the expense of cost. On top of this, no large-scale manufacturing processes exist yet for inorganic electrolytes.

Grande points to start-up Solid Power that is working on the manufacturing process, but it is still at a pilot stage. Replacing bare lithium metal with a host material like silicon is an attractive solution, and some companies are working on that, but only in combination with standard liquid electrolytes. For example Polyplus in California has developed a new glassy electrolyte, together with Schott in Germany that can be coupled with ultra-thin lithium metal and is inexpensive and easy to process.

At the same time Li-ion battery pioneer Prof John Goodenough has says he has found an alternative path to cheap and long-lasting solid-state batteries with three times the energy density of today's designs.

IDtechX predicts the market will reach over $7 billion by 2027 in its latest report on solid state and polymer technologies at www.idtechex.com/research/reports/solid-state-and-polymer-batteries-2017-2027-technology-markets-forecasts-000498.asp

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