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Japan develops a new type of lithium-ion battery, the endurance will exceed one thousand kilometers
According to a report by Nihon Keizai Shimbun on December 27, the development of lithium-ion battery technology that can travel 500 kilometers from Tokyo to Osaka on a single charge is becoming increasingly active in Japan. Sekisui Chemical Industry’s technology is ready to make a breakthrough, and Asahi Kasei is close. The existing electrodes can be used, and it is expected to be practical in the first half of the 1920s. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan will support the development of technologies that give full play to battery performance. Worldwide, the trend toward pure electric vehicles (EV) is accelerating. If the battery life as a subject is greatly extended, the era of lithium-ion batteries as the protagonist may continue.
If it can travel 500 kilometers in a fully charged state, it will match the performance of a gasoline car. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan considers this to be one of the conditions for the popularization of pure electric vehicles and put forward a goal to be achieved in 2030. China, where pure electric vehicles are rapidly spreading, ended subsidies for models with a range of less than 150 kilometers and increased subsidies for models with a long range.
Lithium-ion batteries were commercialized in 1991 and are used in notebook computers and video cameras. It was used in mass-produced pure electric vehicles in 2009. The driving distance when fully charged is about 200 kilometers. It is generally believed that in the early 2010s, it was difficult to reach 500 kilometers with the current technology, and it will be replaced by new generation batteries such as all-solid-state batteries around 2030.
The development of new generation batteries is becoming more and more active around the world, but there are many technical issues. On the other hand, the technological development of lithium-ion batteries has made progress, and the 500-kilometer breakthrough has become increasingly realistic. Researchers predict that 'lithium-ion batteries can continue to be used for about 10 years.'
Lithium-ion batteries generate electricity and charge by moving lithium ions between the positive and negative electrodes. To increase the capacity of the battery, it is necessary to increase the ions stored in the electrode or reduce the internal resistance to make the passage of electrons easier.
Sekisui Chemical has developed a technology for the positive electrode, working on the structure of the added carbon material to make the flow of electrons easier. Enlarging the passage of electrons in the positive electrode makes the flow of electrons smoother, reaching about 10 times that of the previous one. In addition to obtaining a large amount of the generated current, the electrode is not easily damaged, and the durability is improved.
The positive electrode will be thickened in order to obtain more lithium ions. In the experiment, the capacity of the battery increased by about 30%. The endurance distance can be increased from the current 400 kilometers to more than 500 kilometers. It is planned to be sold as parts by 2021.
Asahi Kasei mixed silicon oxide into the negative electrode to increase the capacity by about 20%. The addition of silicon-based materials to the negative electrode made of carbon-based materials makes it easier to store lithium ions and can increase the capacity. However, there is a problem that it cannot be released when a part of the ions are captured. By pre-injecting ions into the negative electrode, the captured part does not move, and the acquisition and release of lithium ions becomes smooth. Asahi Kasei strives to be practical in a few years.
In addition, research on the use of electrode materials that did not exist before is also advancing. Professor Naoaki Yabuuchi of Yokohama National University collaborated with Panasonic to develop a positive electrode mixed with fluorine. Not only metal, but oxygen can also be used for the flow of electrons in the electrode, and the capacity is doubled. Sumitomo Chemical is advancing the development of negative electrodes using aluminum, and has set a goal of increasing the capacity to 2.5 times.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan will develop technologies that make it possible to completely use up the power of lithium-ion batteries starting in 2019. In order to prevent fire accidents, etc., batteries are used with a capacity lower than the upper limit. The development of sensors that can accurately detect the remaining power will be supported to increase the usable amount. In the 2019 budget, 250 million yen will be included, and we will strive to achieve practical use by 2023.
Japan once swept the world in the field of lithium-ion batteries, but patent applications declined after 2011. In China, patent applications by universities and companies have increased, and by 2015, Japan and China will each account for one-third of the total. In order to increase the endurance distance, technological development to substantially increase the battery capacity is advancing, and China's patent applications are expected to further increase.