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For electric vehicles, Lamborghini has licensed MIT's cobalt-free organic battery technology

The researchers created an organic material-based battery cathode that might lessen the EV sector's need on rare metals.
IANS
 

San Francisco A novel battery material created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers, one of whom is Indian in origin, may provide a more environmentally friendly, cobalt-free means of powering electric vehicles.

The technology's patent has been licensed to the carmaker Lamborghini.

The researchers created an organic material-based battery cathode that might lessen the EV sector's need on rare metals.



This substance is made up of several layers of TAQ, a tiny, organic molecule with three fused hexagonal rings.

These layers have the ability to spread out in all directions, creating a structure like to graphite.


According to the study that was published in the journal ACS Central Science, the molecules contain chemical groups known as amines, which aid in the formation of strong hydrogen bonds, and quinones, which serve as the material's electron reservoirs.

The researchers demonstrated that this material can carry energy at rates comparable to cobalt batteries, but at a significantly cheaper cost of production than cobalt-containing batteries.



In addition to having a similar storage capacity, the new battery charges more quickly than cobalt batteries.

Mircea Dinca, the W.M. Keck Professor of Energy at MIT, stated, "This material is already competitive with incumbent technologies, and it can save a lot of the cost and pain and environmental issues related to mining the metals that go into batteries."

Tianyang Chen and former MIT postdoc Harish Banda are the primary authors of the publication, with Dinca serving as the study's senior author.


Cobalt is a metal with great stability and energy density that is used in the cathode of most lithium-ion batteries. Cobalt does have some serious drawbacks, though.

Because cobalt is a rare metal with volatile prices, most of the world's cobalt reserves are found in nations with unstable political systems.


In addition to producing toxic waste that contaminates the surrounding land, air, and water, cobalt mining produces dangerous working conditions.


"Cobalt batteries can store a lot of energy, and they have all of the features that people care about in terms of performance, but they have the issue of not being widely available, and the cost fluctuates broadly with commodity prices," Dinca stated.


According to tests, the novel material's conductivity and storage capacity were on par with those of conventional batteries made of cobalt.


The scientists also mentioned that batteries using a TAQ cathode have the ability to be charged and discharged more quickly than current batteries, which may accelerate the rate at which electric vehicles are charged.


In addition to continuing to explore other battery materials, Dinca and his colleagues are looking at replacing lithium with sodium or magnesium, which are more readily available and less expensive than lithium.


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