Is aluminum-ion technology on the verge of a breakthrough?


GMG (Graphene manufacturing group) from Brisbane/Australia has developed a new aluminum-ion battery based on developments at the University of Queensland, which achieves up to 60 times the charge rate of established Li-ion technology and 3 times the capacity of already existing Al-ion battery concepts. The company plans to bring coin cells to market by the end of next year, followed by pouch cells in 2024.

In addition to high charging rates, Al-ion batteries offer further advantages: among others, the significantly better availability of aluminum, a wide operational temperature window (no more heating at temperatures below 0°C required) and the lack of overheating at high discharge rates are particularly in focus. With an energy density in the range of 150-160 Wh/kg, the gap to Li-ion batteries is practically closed.

The innovative core of the technology is based on new developments in the field of the active chemical components within the cell, in particular the electrode materials and the electrolytes. In particular, the newly developed cathode material, a mesoporous graphene with a low oxygen content, is said to be responsible for increasing capacity by a factor of 3.

The electrolyte used, which according to the manufacturer is a mixture of urea, aluminum trichloride and an unspecified ionic liquid, provides the aluminum ions and ensures their rapid transport, resulting in extremely fast charging speeds.

IOLITEC has been working for several years in the field of aluminum-based electrolytes, e.g. with the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrachloroaluminate, which of late have been increasingly used in the field of aluminum-ion batteries. If you want to know more about this topic, please contact us!