10 Ionizing Papers (July 2018)

This is our roundup of interesting articles on Li-ion batteries published in July – a mix of educational, groundbreaking, helpful, thought-provoking, and topical. If you follow battery research, these are 10 papers you should be aware of (in no particular order):

  1. Charge and discharge rates of a cell are often limited by slow lithium-ion diffusion within the electrode particles. To improve the ionic transport, one can either make the particles smaller (which often compromises the electrode cost and stability) or introduce a material with a faster lithium diffusion coefficient. In this case, several orders of magnitude faster. Nature
  2. Lithium-ion batteries may help residential photovoltaics to become more affordable. An economic analysis of PV-battery systems across the U.S. suggests that, with appropriate sizing and incentives, these systems can be competitive with grid prices. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
  3. One of the most important functions of battery management systems (BMS) is state of charge (SoC) estimation. Learn more about it in this open access review – from its origins to the state-of-the-art, including discussion on conventional methods, adaptive filter and learning algorithms, nonlinear observers, and hybrid methods. Energies
  4. Light duty electric vehicles have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially in cities. (Note, the statement is backed by a robust analysis of 65,000 real-world trips across California.) Transportation Research Part D
  5. Elite NPG journals were rich on electrolyte papers in July: see reporting on non-flammable phosphate electrolytes with high salt-to-solvent ratios (Nature Energy), concentrated ethers for high-voltage batteries (Nature Energy), and non-flammable fluorinated electrolytes for aggressive high-voltage cathodes in Li-metal batteries (Nature Nanotechnology).
  6. Second-life batteries are retired automotive batteries that are still suitable for less demanding applications, such as stationary storage. Their quantities will rise steeply with the number of EVs, so it’s time to predict their sales and pricing. Journal of Energy Storage
  7. It seems an internal short circuit is not the only mechanism capable of triggering thermal runaway. Meet the new hidden player – chemical crosstalk between the cathode and anode at high temperatures. Joule
  8. Regardless the trigger mechanism, thermal runaway is accompanied by powerful exothermic reactions and subsequent gas venting. What is the gas composition, how severe is the venting process, and which initial cell parameters matter? This academic–industrial collaboration examined 51 large-scale automotive cells to find out. Journal of Power Sources
  9. Designing an EV battery pack and worrying about manufacturing and sources of variability? Robust design methodology points at the battery thermal management system and packaging architecture as the two most influential design parameters. Batteries
  10. There is a project called Polymer Genome. The idea is to gather theoretical and experimental data on existing organic polymers, train machine learning models to relate polymer structure to properties, and employ these models to predict properties of brand new polymers. Sounds useful! Journal of Physical Chemistry C

Want to see more? We compile plenty of interesting papers into our monthly literature reviews focused on battery science, engineering, and applications. Pick a topic and there will be something for you. Or check back with us in September!