Potassium Metal Battery Emerges as a Rival to Lithium-Ion Technology
Researchers have solved the problem of dendrites in potassium batteries, which are a cheaper alternative to lithium-ion technology.
Humanity’s dependence on energy storage devices is constantly growing, but due to the limited and high cost of lithium, the demand for more affordable and safer solutions is increasing. One such alternative is potassium batteries, which rival modern lithium-ion batteries in performance..
However, like all metal batteries, they suffer from dendrites. (protrusions on the anode) that form during charging / discharging, and ultimately can provoke a short circuit and fire the device.
Group scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at the University of Maryland found a solution to this problem by controlling the internal temperature and smoothing the formed dendrites.
The bottom line is that whenever the battery is not in use, the built-in control system starts to heat it up. In this case, the temperature does not melt the metal, but rises high enough to activate self-healing of the processes due to the activation of surface diffusion of potassium atoms, forcing them to move in the lateral direction.
This method is applicable to lithium metal batteries, but the researchers found that potassium requires much less heat to complete the self-healing process..
Recall that in November Skoltech also announced the development of high-power potassium batteries, charging in 10 seconds.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Naked Science