ITRI leads ultrafast rechargeable cell development

An ultrafast rechargeable aluminum-ion battery cell has been produced by Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute in conjunction with Stanford University in the US.

Compact, flexible and stable, the experimental cell is seen as an ideal energy source for applications ranging from personal electronics to grid storage. The development was published April 6 on the website of prestigious science journal Nature.

ITRI researcher Lin Meng-chang said the cell combines an aluminum metal anode, a 3-D graphitic-foam cathode and a nonflammable ionic liquid electrolyte. “By solving problems with discharge voltage and recharge cycles arising from the aluminum-based composition, we achieved what was previously thought impossible in building our high-capability cell.”

Capable of charging for a minute at 7,500-plus cycles without capacity decay, the cell potentially offers massive cost advantages as aluminum is cheaper than lithium. In addition, it provides enhanced safety as aluminum is more resistant than lithium to overheating and catching fire.

Another major feature is its stability under duress. Tests show that the cell can continue powering a light-emitting diode, or LED, lamp while enduring structural stresses like bending and drilling.

Taiwan scholars such as Hwang Bing-joe of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and Wang Di-yan from Academia Sinica also assisted the ITRI-Stanford team in R&D efforts.

The cell technology has been patented in Taiwan and the US and is expected to be commercialized in two to three years, according to the ITRI.

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