We were surprised to discover lithium exists throughout our nervous system. It interacts with our neurotransmitters and receptors to help manage blood pressure, and ensures we have adequate serotonin levels to stabilize our mood. Lithium compounds, also called lithium salts help manage bipolar disorder and depression. Now scientists have announced lithium salts improve lithium battery health too.
How Lithium Salts Improve Lithium Battery Cycles
Scientists at the DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been pondering over the optimum salt concentration in lithium battery electrolyte. They have known for a while this improves the battery’s charge, but there are side effects too.
You see, too much salt corrodes the electrodes so they fail sooner. Science is a funny old thing. We would have thought adding a protective layer was an obvious idea, nevertheless the solution apparently worked well. Here’s more info about lithium compounds.
The researchers from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory reported as follows per Transportation Today:
“The electrolyte was tested on a battery similar to one in a watch. It was able to retain 80 percent of its initial charge after 700 cycles of discharging and recharging compared to approximately 100 cycles with batteries using conventional electrolytes,” so we may have progress at last. However, there is a downside to their report.
The Downside to This Discovery
Lithium salt is expensive. Most advanced medicines are, owing to high development outgoings and government controls. High cost is increasingly becoming the Achilles Heel of electric car batteries.
We doubt having lithium salts improve lithium battery performance will be much help for a while, unless we can drive its price down somehow, and escape the cost impasse.
Preview Image: Lithium Salt Flats, Chile
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