PHOTO CAPTION: A future 24kWh lithium-air battery in the Nissan LEAF would weigh less than 5 lbs. (2.2 kg).

Researchers Making Progress on Lithium-Air Batteries

Lithiated silicon-carbon anodes may be secret to powerful electric vehicle batteries with energy densities a 1,000 times that of today's lithium-ion cells.

Published: 08-Nov-2012

Researchers from the University of Rome Sapienza (Italy), Argonne National Laboratory (United States), and Hanyang University (South Korea) have shown that the construction of lithium-air batteries without lithium metal is possible. A lithiated silicon-carbon anode can be used instead. As is the case with many new technologies, there are drawbacks to this one.

Two drawbacks are that such batteries have a lower capacity and a lower voltage than normal lithium-air batteries. However, the new battery is safer and has a greater energy density than lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-air batteries are being sought by multiple organizations, including IBM, due to the fact that they have the potential to store a stunning 11,140 Wh/kg.


Trolza electric bus prototype developed in Russia and first exhibited in October 2011 in Moscow.

New factory, a joint venture between RUSNANO and Thunder Sky, will have 1 GWh capacity, equivalent to equipping 500,000 electric buses.

Zabuye Salt Lake in Tibet

Gabriel Lafitte recounts environmental damage being done by extraction of lithium from Tibet's high mountain salt lakes.

Salinas Grandes, in Northwestern Argentina covers 17,000 sq. km. Flickr photo by Guslight.

Mineral compounds containing lithium are abundant in a vast region in southern Bolivia, northwest Argentina and northern Chile


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