(180f) Block Polymer Electrolyte Based Lithium-Air Batteries for Transportation

Hallinan, D. T. Jr., University of California, Berkeley
Balsara, N. P., University of California, Berkeley

The growing need for alternative energy and increased demand for mobile technology require higher density energy storage. Specifically, using batteries for transportation will enable improved efficiency and use of renewable energy. But, to maintain vehicle range and performance, batteries with an order of magnitude higher energy density are needed. New electrode chemistries that provide more energy with less mass, such as lithium-air, have the potential to fill this need. Lithium-air batteries are complex systems with many barriers to be overcome before they are competitive with current energy sources. Several of the challenges arise from the use of liquid electrolyte. In a system exposed to air, solvent in the electrolyte not only evaporates but is also flammable. Block polymer electrolyte mitigates this problem, while also serving multiple functions. In conventional systems the membrane separator and binder are inert, used only for their mechanical properties. Whereas a block polymer electrolyte can serve each of these functions and also conducts ions. Block polymer electrolyte battery cycling will be presented. The results compare with literature in terms of percent theoretical capacity accessed and fade. These batteries can be cycled at the same conditions and rate as conventional cathode chemistries. Improvements in fade and energy efficiency are being made by decreasing the over-voltage associated with charging by using better catalysts.