New solid-state battery chemistry with glass electrolyte delivers 3 times the capacity

A novel battery chemistry has come from the mind of John B. Goodenough, the same guy who came up with the cobalt-oxide cathode that powers the lithium-ion battery chemistry, and he predicts that the new chemistry will have triple the energy density of lithium-ion cells. This new chemistry uses sodium instead of lithium. Sodium and lithium are both alkali metals, with the same +1 charge. But sodium is a whole lot more abundant than lithium, which could make the new battery chemistry less expensive than lithium-ion cells. Unlike the Lithium-Ion batteries which are plagued by the formation of metallic lithium “dendrites”between the anode and the cathode that causes a runaway reaction and shorts out the cell. Goodenough‘s new battery chemistry uses an annealed glass matrix as an electrolyte. This presents several possible advantages over most liquid electrolytes, namely that it won’t splash horrible battery liquid all over you if the casing is somehow breached. The glass mats also defy the formation of dendrites, because the anode never reacts with the mats.

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