Researchers increasing lifespan of batteries with new electrolyte

A new dual-function solid electrolyte developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory will increase the lifespan of vehicle batteries.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a new dual-function solid electrolyte for use in vehicle batteries. The electrolyte combines ion conductor and cathode supplement to increase the energy storage capacity and lifespan of batteries.

When researchers demonstrated the capabilities of the new electrolyte in a lithium carbon fluoride battery, the battery's capacity was increased 26%. This occurs because as the battery discharges, a lithium fluoride salt is created which causes the electrolyte to become active and thus able to produce more energy. 

The researchers say the technology is close to practical application, and that the laboratory has been contacted by a battery manufacturer to commercialize the technology. 

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