Beyond Lithium Ion Batteries
Electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems, especially batteries, play an important role in our everyday life. In fact, it is impossible to imagine today’s modern world without portable electrochemical power sources. Practically all portable electronic systems, such laptops and mobile phones and power tools are powered by rechargeable batteries. Besides their importance as mobile energy source, energy storage and conversion systems are expected play important role in the realization of green renewable energy sources in the near future.
Nowadays, coal and fossil fuels are the dominant energy source for grid electricity generation and mobile transportation. However, converting the chemical energy stored in these materials to electric or kinetic energy is accompanied by CO2 emission, a greenhouse gas considered as primary anthropogenic contributor the global warming effect.
Electric vehicles powered by rechargeable batteries or non-fossil fuel-cells may reduce the internal combustion related CO2 emission. In addition, rechargeable batteries as energy storage devices are one of the most promising technologies that can enhance renewable power system flexibility and realize seamless integration of solar and wind-based energy systems with the electrical grid.
Currently, lithium ion batteries exhibit the best performances, in terms of energy and power densities, safety, cost, and mass production ability. That, by all means, makes them the most advanced battery technologies currently available commercially. However, some experts contend that the growing demand for electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems will lead to Li shortage. This, in conjunction to the fact that Li-ion’s based technologies rapidly reaching their limit, drive the scientific community to search for a new, "beyond lithium ion batteries" technologies. Such systems may be based on Li-metal, Li-oxygen, Sodium ion, Magnesium ion and Zinc ion. Furthermore, there is a great interest in rechargeable batteries based on metallic anodes because their potential to deliver much higher energy density than their cation intercalation analogs-based systems.