Perovskite battery boosts lithium energy density and safety

July 30, 2020 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
LLTO anodes promise safe, long-lasting batteries
Lithium lanthanum titanate with a perovskite crystal structure (LLTO) can improve the energy density, power density, charge rate, safety and service life of batteries say researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

A new type of lithium perovskite battery could provide a higher energy density say researchers in Germany and China. 

Electric vehicles, intelligent power grids, other mobile and stationary applications require batteries that can store as much energy as possible in the smallest possible space with the lowest possible weight. Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) still best meet these requirements, but there is always a need to further increase the energy density, power density, safety and lifetime of these batteries. The electrode materials play a key role in this. The active material used is predominantly graphite. However, negative electrodes made of graphite have a low charging rate. They also have safety problems. Among the alternative active materials, lithium titanate oxide (LTO) has already been commercialized. Negative electrodes with LTO offer a higher charging rate and are considered safer than those with graphite. However, LIB with LTO anodes tend to have a lower energy density.

The team around Professor Helmut Ehrenberg, head of the Institute of Applied Materials - Energy Storage Systems (IAM-ESS) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), has now researched another promising anode material: lithium lanthanum titanate with perovskite crystal structure (LLTO). As the study, which was carried out together with scientists from Jilin University in Changchun, China, and other research institutes in China and Singapore, showed LLTO anodes have a lower electrode potential compared to commercialized LTO anodes, which allows a higher cell voltage and a higher capacity to be achieved.

"Cell voltage and storage capacity ultimately determine the energy density of a battery," said Ehrenberg. "In the future, LLTO anodes could enable particularly safe and long-lasting high-performance cells". The study contributes to the work of CELEST (Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage Ulm & Karlsruhe), one of the largest battery research platforms worldwide.

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