Watch: Breakthrough promises “quantum leap” in battery performance

Ultra fast carbon electrodes reported to combine highest ever ionic, electrical and thermal conductivity

Watch: Breakthrough promises “quantum leap” in battery performance

A nano-based battery innovation for vehicles has been claimed by NAWA Technologies.

Currently one of the major limitations of battery power, energy and lifecycle is the design and material used for the electrode.

Based on inefficient powders, existing electrodes have low electrical, thermal and ionic conductivity, along with poor mechanical behaviour when discharged and recharged, and can also suffer from early delamination and degradation leading to safety and lifecycle issues.

With NAWA’s patented vertically-aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) design, the ‘ultra fast carbon electrode’ combines the highest ionic conductivity – thanks to a 3D fully accessible nanostructure – with the highest electrical and thermal conductivity, provided by its arrangement of 100 billion nanotubes per sq cm.

The universal system will be available as a primer for existing electrodes – where the VACNT increases electrical conduction – and is expected to be ready for market in 12 months.

It is also available as a full 3D-electrode (anode or cathode) where the VACNT themselves serve as a framework on which lithium insertion material can be coated.

Electric vehicles

Applied to an electric vehicle, NAWA says an advanced lithium-ion battery with an ‘ultra fast carbon electrode’ could double the kWh stored, meaning EVs could draw on more power to go further, or faster, making 1,000km ranges commonplace in a mass market EV.

Charging time could be reduced to as little as five minutes for an 80 per cent charge, while battery lifecycle could be improved by a factor of up to five.

In addition, NAWA Technologies is also developing a concept called NAWAShell, an integrated structural hybrid battery that incorporates VACNT to give two complimentary characteristics: enhanced mechanical strength and electrical energy storage within the core of the composite structure.

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Ulrik Grape, CEO of NAWA Technologies said: “NAWA’s Ultra Fast Carbon Electrode will allow us to charge batteries faster, go further and for longer – and all with a product based on one of the world’s most abundant and green materials: carbon.

“Our technology can help to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of battery systems, so much so that we believe this electrode innovation could halve the time in which an electric vehicle pays back the CO2created in its manufacture – as well as being able to recharge in the same time it takes to refuel, and drive the same distance on electricity as a tank of gas.”

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