The patent was finally granted for the new glass battery presented by John Goodenough's team.
The historic inventor of the lithium-ion battery (LiOn) presented this glass battery prototype in 2017 and applied for a patent in 2019. I talked about the occasion in this post. The certification finally granted, according to the team, will allow the new glass battery to accelerate the transition from internal combustion engines.
The thing is serious. When John Goodenough makes an announcement, I pay attention. He is a myth in the art, an extraordinary scientist.
Why can the glass battery be so revolutionary?
Because not only is it much more energy-dense than its more common rival, the glass battery could also give electric vehicles something like a range of 1.600 kilometers on a 60-second charge, among other benefits.
Let's take a leap into the future with a pure vision: one day even the glass battery will be outclassed. And it will be for cars with a range of 16.000 km and for vehicles that use hydrogen or solar energy as their main power sources. Finally, from vehicles that are wirelessly charged and don't even need batteries anymore. There's time.
How does the glass battery work?
By applying to the glass sodium or lithium to form an electrode inside the battery, the energy storage capacity triples compared to traditional LiOn batteries. And there's more: there is no leakage and it is not flammable, unlike LiOn batteries which are subject to even explode from time to time.
First described in a 2017 paper published in Energy and Environmental Science, the new glass battery, if commercialized, would have the power to revolutionize the electric vehicle industry.
The glass battery, above all, could finally overcome the price barrier that has so far made electric cars expensive and hindered their spread.
I think we have a chance to do what we've been trying to do for the past 20 years. Get an electric car that will be competitive in cost and convenience with the internal combustion engineJohn Goodenough
Other possible uses of the glass battery
The researcher Maria Helena Braga of the University of Texas, Austin says early tests also suggest that the glass battery could have "maybe thousands" of charge and discharge cycles, more than the average 1.000 to 2.000 cycles achievable with the typical nickel-manganese-cobalt or other batteries. In addition, the glass battery electrode has been shown to withstand a much wider temperature range, between -20 ° C and 60 ° C.
It could also be used to store intermittent solar and wind energy on the power grid.
“Rechargeable batteries containing an amorphous solid / glass electrolyte solvated with water can provide a stable, safe and low cost battery. A glass battery capable of storing a large amount of electrical energy to power the grid or charge the battery or capacitor of an electric vehicle since the operating temperature range of a stationary battery can be kept small for all seasons to a low cost ”, reads the patent.
The glass battery can open up to the possibility of cars being charged by portable “power banks”, without the need to have them on board. "The small activation energy for carrying alkaline ions in the electrolyte can also make an electric vehicle powered by a portable rechargeable battery that operates over a wide range of ambient temperatures feasible."
In addition to attention, even the best scientists deserve the scrutiny of reality. And of this glass battery there are several experts who question the ability to sustain the accumulation of energy.
The glass battery behaves somewhat like a supercapacitor, which can charge and discharge quickly. But it isn't known for its ability to store large amounts of energy.
And then there is still an obstacle to completion: the glass electrolyte and an anode are there, but a cathode is needed to complete the picture.
“The next step is to verify that the cathode problem is solved,” confirms Goodenough. “When we do, we can take the cells to a large scale. We have made gelatin cells so far and they seem to work quite well. So I'm pretty optimistic that we'll get there. "
And the development?
“It will be with the battery makers,” says Goodenough. “I don't want to develop. I don't want to go into business. I am 98 years old. I don't need money ”.
Almost 100 years, and how wonderful to see it still create: one wonders how it has so much energy. About the glass battery?