Researchers from York University have discovered a way to create organic batteries. At the same time, they preserved their performance, stability and capacity.
Lithium-ion batteries use toxic heavy metals that can affect the environment; in addition, they are difficult to dispose of. Cobalt is one of the heavy metals used in battery electrodes. Part of the problem is that lithium and cobalt are rare metals and their reserves are declining.
The use of organic materials forces scientists such as Professor Thomas Baumgartner to develop and test new molecules to find a substitute for the rare metals that are currently in use.
“Materials with organic electrodes are considered extremely promising for green batteries with high power”, the researchers said.
Their latest breakthrough is the creation of a new carbon-based organic molecule that can replace cobalt used in the cathodes or positive electrodes of lithium-ion batteries. The new material eliminates the disadvantages of the inorganic material, while maintaining operational characteristics.
“Electrodes made from organic materials can make large-scale production, recycling, or disposal of these elements safer”, Baumgartner said. “Our goal is to create sustainable batteries that are stable and have the same, if not better capacity”.
The study is published and presented on the cover of the March issue of Batteries & Supercaps.