The US start-up Ionblox has been developing a silicon battery for some time that can be charged very quickly. According to the company, use in e-cars as well as air taxis is possible.
The need for energy storage will probably continue to increase. In addition to everyday use in smartphones or other devices, cities also need more and more batteries to protect their power grids. But one problem remains: Because classic lithium-ion batteries usually only charge slowly in order to achieve a long service life.
A possible solution to this problem is now being developed by the California-based company Ionblox. The start-up is focusing on electric vehicles and small aircraft, which may one day carry us short distances. The special feature is that the anode of the batteries consists of a special silicon mixture.
Silicon battery charges to 80 percent in just ten minutes
Inblox wants to use this approach to produce batteries that have an energy density that is around 50 percent higher than conventional solutions. Once plugged in, the battery level increases from zero to around 80 percent in just ten minutes. And that with a capacity of 50 ampere hours. E-cars can be refueled in a similar time as combustion engines.
Some investors also believe that the plans will be realized. Because in a recent round of financing, Ionblox collected around 32 million US dollars and is thus ramping up production at a pilot plant. But how does the technology actually work compared to a classic battery?
Advanced anode allows fast flow of electrons
In a normal lithium-ion battery, the anode is usually made of graphite. This has the disadvantage that the stored electrodes can only move from A to B comparatively slowly. With the silicon-based anode used (and small amounts of lithium), this problem is a thing of the past.
In addition, the risk of deposits on the anode is reduced, so the service life of the battery is extended. Nevertheless, there are still some disadvantages. So the conductivity is slightly lower and the anode wears out more easily. The efficiency and performance of the battery could suffer as a result in the long term.