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Published on April 22nd, 2013 | by Guest Contributor


Graphene Silicon Nanoplatelets Increase Lithium-Ion Battery Capacity 4 Fold

April 22nd, 2013 by  

This article first appeared on the Hephaestus Project – Energy blog.

By David Fuchs

Six months ago, Northwestern University professor Harold Kung theorized that, using a graphene–silicon mixture, there was a way to extend a new lithium-ion battery’s charge by 10 times and increase its lifespan by a factor of 10. The technology theorized by Harold Kung could allow for cell phone batteries to be charged in 15 minutes and hold a week’s worth of charge. It could also allow greater range and faster recharging for electric vehicles. At the time, he believed that silicon-graphene technology would be commercially viable in 3 to 5 years.

graphene nanoplatelets

I’ve got a surprise for you. XG Sciences has announced the immediate availability of a graphene-silicon additive for lithium-ion batteries in commercial scale quantities. These graphene nanoplatelets will allow lithium-ion batteries to hold four times the amount of energy and extend the lifespan of the batteries substantially. This technology holds great potential for extending the range of electric vehicles, increasing the time between charges for portable consumer electronic devices, decreasing the weight of portable electronic devices, and decreasing the cost for the storage of electrical energy from solar cells for nighttime usage.

Author Bio: David Fuchs is a classically trained engineer and programmer. He is involved in open sourcing, software, and hardware. Current interests: 3d printing and nanotechnology, predicting the future of technology, and low-cost power production in developing nations using material at hand. You can check out his website for more of his writing, and you can contact David on Google +.

Also see:

  1. New “Micro-Batteries” Show Great Potential, Now The Most Powerful Batteries On The Planet
  2. Longer-Lasting Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Developed For Use In EVs
  3. Zinc-Iron Redox Flow Batteries — The Next Big Thing In Energy Storage? (CleanTechnica Exclusive)

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  • Bob_Wallace

    Perhaps we should hold back on the celebration. This isn’t a 4x battery, it a better anode.

    “We are working with battery makers to translate this exciting new material into batteries with longer run-time, faster charging and smaller sizes than today’s batteries.”


    There are several very promising anode developments but they haven’t yet been turned into a great battery.

    • Doesn’t that still translate into a 2x battery?

      • Bob_Wallace

        Fair notice: I’m far from being adequately knowledgeable in things battery.

        Answer: I don’t think so. Without a high performance anode I don’t think things improve. I view it (perhaps incorrectly) as a tank with an inlet and outlet. You could increase the size of one by 4x but the other would still restrict the rate at which you could circulate fluid through the tank.

        What I don’t understand is that over the last few years we have seen people come forward, some with better cathodes and some with better anodes. Why don’t they get together and produce a better battery?

        Where’s our battery expert?

        • dynamo.joe

          Maybe so Bob, but you are making the assumption that the anode and cathode are performance matched now. Or do you know that the anode is definitely not the bottle neck with current battery tech?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Again, my battery knowledge pool is a kiddie wader.

            I’ve seen several other companies claim to have excellent cathodes and a few claim excellent anodes. I don’t know why the two haven’t been put together.

        • jeffhre

          You’re on the right track Bob, but it’s not the inlets that are restricted it’s the second tank, which represents the cathode that is restricted.

          What this allows if it can even be adopted to manufacturing at scale, is greater capacity on the anode side due to higher energy density, which can then be reduced in size to accommodate a larger cathode.

  • JMin2020

    Thanks for the post Zach. This is really good news. Maybe this will get fast tracked through the Advanced Manufacturing Office. I’ve seen several notable advances in Lithium Ion Battery technology in as many weeks now.

    • yeah, wishing i were a battery scientist lately, to better evaluate the variety of stories on this front.

  • Bob_Wallace

    If this is true it’s a major turning point in transportation. It’s the point at which we leave petroleum behind.

    We don’t need a “Nissan LEAF” with 4x range. Three times with fast charge times is plenty, perhaps 2.5x. That can mean a smaller, lighter battery and a price drop along with great range.

  • dcard88

    Wow! This sounds HUGE

    • jeffhre

      Not so fast. Starting with 4x anode improvements loses something without a compatible cathode. The anode will have to be reduced in size. So that any additional space given to the cathode will be the measure of the effective gain in battery capability.

      Eg. if the cathode gets 60% more space then the battery can only have 60% more power, And the anode must be reduced in size proportionally. So we will be fortunate to get batteries with 1.5 times the charge of whatever Professor Kung compared them to.

      And keep in mind batteries are improving all the time. By the time these are certified for use, they may represent only an incremental improvement over the generation currently in use.

  • jlmur

    Go Tesla!

  • Nate


    • Roger

      Praise the lord!

      • Ross

        Professor Harold Kung might feel like he deserves some of the credit.

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