10 Ionizing Papers (February 2018)

This is our roundup of interesting articles on Li-ion batteries published in February – a mix of educational, groundbreaking, helpful, thought-provoking, and topical. If you follow battery research, these are 10 papers you should be aware of (not in order of importance):

  1. Drone delivery is a whole new industry in the making. Will it be ‘greener’ than delivery trucks? If drones rely on the current battery technology, the answer is not as straightforward as you would think. Nature Communications
  2. NCA cathodes (just like the ones Panasonic makes for Tesla) utilize only about 65% of their lithium because they can’t be cycled with a high cut-off voltage. This structural analysis sheds more light on why that is. Journal of Materials Chemistry A
  3. See what couldn’t be seen before – electrolyte filling process for hard-case prismatic cells! Journal of Power Sources
  4. Wonder what kind of batteries NASA-JPL use in their Mars rover missions? And how they test them? (Hint: they have to be able to perform between –25 and +25 °C) Electrochimica Acta
  5. Knowing the actual capacity of a battery is essential for the battery management system (BMS) to calculate both the state of health (SoH) and the remaining electric driving range. Three popular algorithms – extended Kalman filter, particle filter, and least-squares-based filter – are coupled with a state of charge (SoC) estimator and compared. Applied Energy
  6. Microstructural inhomogeneities can be found in every Li-ion battery electrode. But how much do they really affect electrochemical performance of the cell? JES
  7. Researchers try many ‘unusual’ (aka rare-earth) elements to create the next battery supermaterial. Still, it’s always good to consider whether these elements are abundant enough – they might be indeed very ‘rare’ and in demand by multiple industries. Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy
  8. Batteries often generate a lot of unwanted heat. And different geometries are more or less suitable to handle it. These simulations examine conventional (layer by layer) battery geometry compared to an interdigitated one, a ring one, a spiral one, and many more. Energy
  9. External short circuit can cause large current and immediate heating of the battery. How does this temperature rise and can it be predicted to avoid disastrous consequences? Applied Energy
  10. Propylene carbonate (PC) and ethylene carbonate (EC) solvents differ only by one methyl group. So similar in structure, yet the former has proved to be hopeless while the latter to be indispensable in batteries. And this single methyl group is often blamed for delaying the emergence of Li-ion technology for decades. Discussion about this mystery goes on. Accounts of Chemical Research

Check back with us in April!