PORTLAND, Ore. -- Graphene electrodes used in lithium-ion batteries could reduce recharge times from two hours to about 10 minutes, according to government and Princeton University researchers.
The new graphene-based electrode fabrication process, also developed by researchers at the Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), has been licensed to Vorbeck Materials Corp. (Jessup, Md.) for commercialization.
The graphene process was developed at PNNL in cooperation with Princeton researcher Ilhan Aksay under a cooperative research and development agreement with Vorbeck. PNNL said it has demonstrated that ultra-thin sheets of grahene can be fabricated on lithium-ion battery electrodes to yeild vastly shorter recharge times.
Vorbeck is developing a commercial process that duplicates PNNL's success in the lab; it has branded its graphene electrode material "Vor-x". Vorbeck separately developed "Vor-ink"--a graphene-based conductive ink licensed from Princeton University that allows electronic circuits to be printed.
A PNNL researcher prepares and tests lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicle and other mobile applications. (Source: PNNL)
Using the new Vor-x material, researchers also hope to increase the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries
without slowing their recharge time--a traditional trade-off with conventional lithium-ion battery technology.
Funding for the battery research was provided by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Technology Commercialization Fund.