PSE Success Story:
Argonne Opens New Chapter in Battery Research: Lithium-air
Lithium-air batteries have a capacity for energy storage that is five to 10 times greater than that of lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-air batteries have great potential,
but it could take one to two decades of
research and development before the
technology is ready to be commercially
adopted. These next-generation batteries
have both scientific and engineering
- Science: Developing new materials,
including the creation of an advanced
catalyst, a highly stable electrolyte, and
the effective stabilization of a metallic lithium
- Engineering: Developing high-porosity gas diffusion
electrodes, ways to deposit the catalyst onto the
cathode, and a membrane to prevent oxygen
crossover to the lithium anode.
Lithium-air batteries use a catalytic
air cathode that supplies oxygen, an
electrolyte and a lithium anode.
Argonne has researched a variety of battery
technologies during the last four decades, and
has become a leader in the development of new
materials for advanced batteries. To help lithium-air
batteries become a reality, Argonne has formed
an interdisciplinary team to span basic, applied and
theoretical sciences and leverage the lab’s world-class
research facilities—the Advanced Photon Source,
the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Argonne’s
Advanced Leadership Computing Facility.
Argonne’s renowned lithium-ion battery research
program has yielded technology transfer agreements,
149 inventions, more than 40 patents and four R&D
100 Awards. In a natural progression, Argonne is now making it a priority to achieve the same
type of success with its pursuit of commercially viable lithium-air batteries.
“This is an opportunity to put together an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers from across the lab to attack all problems and barriers of lithium-air in a concerted and
collaborative way,” said Khalil Amine, senior materials scientist, Argonne National Laboratory.
- Argonne Opens New Chapter in Battery Research: Lithium-air (767 kB pdf)