South Korean researchers have developed a new cathode material for lithium ion batteries which could double the range of electric vehicles.
Led by Dr. Jang Bo-yoon of the Korea Institute of Energy Research, the scientists succeeded in developing the technology and know-how on silicon oxide nano powder.
Silicon oxide nano powder is a cathode material for lithium ion batteries based on nanotechnology. The researchers claim that electric vehicles powered by this material will be able to run 500 km on a single charge.
The nano powder made using this technique includes silicon that is highly reactive with lithium. When applied to a lithium ion battery, the powder can quadruple energy capacities compared to current graphite anode materials.
The silicon oxide nano powder is expected to reduce production cost 30% to 50% compared to Japanese silicon oxide nano powder – the only commercialized product in the world.
The material’s inexpensiveness is due to the fact that only low-cost silicon raw materials of $2-3 per kilogram are used along with an induction melting apparatus.
According to Business Korea, the researchers are engaging in research and development for product production and sales together with a company that received the technology.
Based on this, the company will mass-produce the product as early as January next year and supply them to battery manufacturers including Tesla around the world.
Image and content: BusinessKorea/Korea Institute of Energy Research