A startup develops potassium batteries for future electric vehicles.

Researchers studying energy storage have been interested in potassium batteries for a while, but they are just starting to come out of the lab and into the light. The startup Group1 has just claimed that it is the first business in the world to commercialize cathode materials for cutting-edge potassium-ion batteries, which is the most recent breakthrough on that front.

WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH POTASSIUM BATTERIES? a cellulose-enabled version , a potassium battery created at the University of Bristol, is one recent example of a potassium battery that has occasionally flown under CleanTechnica’s radar for use in EVs and other applications.

But potassium is a tough substance. When applying potassium batteries to grid-scale energy storage , our pals at IEEE Spectrum in the year 2020 made the following observation:

Potassium has historically been avoided since it is a very reactive and hazardous metal. Furthermore, it is challenging to develop electrode materials that can support the heavier potassium ions.

However, given the supply chain problems the lithium-ion energy storage industry is experiencing, something has to give.

According to writer Prachi Patel, some battery researchers are giving potassium, lithium’s long-ignored cousin, a second look as a grid storage solution. Potassium is widely available, reasonably priced, and theoretically might allow for a higher-power battery.

Patel pointed out that efforts have lagged behind research on lithium and sodium batteries. However, a rush of publications from the previous five years describe promising cathode prospects. Iron-based compounds with crystalline structures resembling Prussian blue particles and large open spaces for potassium ions to fill are among the top contenders.

If the color Prussian blue comes to mind, you might be recalling the sodium-ion research that came out of the University of Texas at Austin’s John Goodenough lab, where the renowned inventor and pioneer in energy storage recently celebrated his 100th birthday.

Patel noted in his 2020 article that has reported Prussian blue cathodes developed by a team at the University of Texas at Austin, led by the inventor of the lithium-ion battery and recipient of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, had an energy density of 510 watt-hours per kilogram, which is comparable to that of modern lithium batteries.

POTASSIUM BATTERIES FROM GROUP 1 ARE HERE The research cited by Patel is a study that was written by Leigang Xue, Yutao Li, Hongcai Gao, Weidong Zhou, Xujie L, Watchareeya Kaveevivitchai, Arumugam Manthiram, and John B. Goodenough and was first published in the Journal of the American Chemistry Society in January 2017.

This pulls up the most recent Group1 news. Battery pioneer Alexander Girau, Chief Science Officer Dr. Yakov Kutsovsky (previously of Cabot Corporation ), and Dr. Leigang Xue are listed as members of the startup’s leadership.

It’s a safe bet that this is the same Dr. Leigang Xue who developed the KPW (Potassium Prussion White) cathode materials in 2017 at Professor Goodenough’s lab at the University of Texas at Austin.

Unlike LIBs (lithium-ion batteries), KIBs (potassium-ion batteries) are made from sustainable raw materials that are easily accessible both domestically and abroad, according to Group1. Since lithium is 20 times more expensive and 1,000 times more rare on earth than potassium, potassium is employed in Group1’s KPW cathode materials.

Because safer electrolytes and oxygen-free materials are used, they go on to say that KIBs made using Group1’s KPW cathode materials will outperform LIBs in terms of safety. Additionally, KIBs charge more quickly and efficiently than LIBs because potassium ions in electrolytes are more mobile and smaller in size than lithium ions.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE POTASSIUM PRUSSIAN WHITE? Returning to the Prussian Blue incident, here is the relationship between sodium and potassium batteries. The following explanation is taken from a recent study that was published in the American Chemistry Society’s Applied Energy Materials journal:

Due to their high working potentials, high theoretical capacities, and low toxicity, prussian blue (PB) and its analogs are interesting materials for sodium-ion battery cathodes.

As it avoids the need for a reactive sodium-loaded anode in cell construction, prussian white (PW), which is the totally reduced and sodiated form of PB, might considerably increase the manufacturability of commercial batteries.

We turn to another ACS article, ACS Energy Letters, for an explanation of the potassium form of Prussian White.

Nonaqueous potassium-ion batteries, which can use graphitic carbon as the negative electrode, are mentioned as potential low-cost Li-ion battery substitutes in a 2017 article published in Energy Letters.

The authors point out that the lack of readily available positive electrode materials calls for the use of potassium.

The Prussian white hexacyanoferrate (HCF), K 1.7 FeFe(CN) 6 0.9, has crystal dimensions that can be controlled using solution chemistry to produce nano, submicron, or micron crystallites. They discover a “very high” correlation between crystallite size and electrochemical behavior.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE POODLE BATTERIES? What about them, yes? Electric vehicle potassium batteries are not the same as grid-scale energy storage. Once Group1 starts, we’ll learn more about their goals, so keep checking back for updates.

In the meantime, Columbia Engineering researchers in 2020 looked at potassium batteries from the perspective of electric vehicles, which was a solution to the dendrite problem.

In lithium-ion batteries, dendrites, which resemble feathers, form and impair operation. Potassium has been singled out by Columbia Engineering as one of many workarounds.

According to a research from Columbia Engineering, scientists have discovered that alkali metal additions, such potassium ions, can stop the growth of the lithium microstructure when batteries are in use. They found that adding modest amounts of potassium salt to a typical lithium battery electrolyte results in distinctive chemistry at the lithium/electrolyte interface using a mix of microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (similar to an MRI), and computational modeling.

The potassium solution might be used for solid-state energy storage, another significant development in the battery world. The journal Cell Reports Physical Science contains all the juicy information.

@TinaMCasey Please follow me on Twitter.

In the future, EVs like Fords Mustang Mach-E might have a potassium tiger in its aquariums (photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company).

Do you value the unique reporting and cleantech news coverage on CleanTechnica? Consider becoming an a cellulose-enabled version 0 patron, a CleanTechnica member, supporter, technician, or ambassador.


Related Articles

World News Today

Featured Posts

In the UK, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 goes camping
October 26, 2022
In the UK, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 goes camping
The Most Recent EV To Market Before Cybertruck Is The Foxconn Model V
October 26, 2022
The Most Recent EV To Market Before Cybertruck Is The Foxconn Model V
Initial EV Purchaser? Coming Full Circle
October 26, 2022
Initial EV Purchaser? Coming Full Circle
The Ideal Vespa For A Terminator 2 Reboot Is Bandit9
October 26, 2022
The Ideal Vespa For A Terminator 2 Reboot Is Bandit9
The proposed North American Battery Factory is halted by CATL.
October 26, 2022
The proposed North American Battery Factory is halted by CATL.
previous arrow
next arrow

Science News Today

Tech News Post