Faster Electric Vehicle Charging Possible by Suppressing Lithium Plating, Study Finds

10 mins

When lithium batteries are charging, an occurrence called lithium plating can happen, especi...


When lithium batteries are charging, an occurrence called lithium plating can happen, especially when fast charging. It happens when lithium, instead of inserting itself into the battery, forms on the battery’s negative electrode. This gradually forms a layer of lithium, which continues to grow over time. Eventually, lithium plating can harm the battery. It can result in short circuiting, reduced battery lifespan, explosion and fire.

Combating Lithium Plating with Fast Charging Protocols

According to experts, the effects of lithium plating can be reduced by improving the structure of the battery’s negative electrode. As the graphite negative electrode is composed of randomly disrupted particles, the electrode and the particles can be fine-tuned in a way that encourages parallel reaction activity. This also reduces lithium saturation, which suppresses lithium plating and enables the battery to perform better.

Dr. Xuekun Lu, of Queen Mary University of London, explains: "Our research has revealed that the lithiation mechanisms of graphite particles vary under distinct conditions, depending on their surface morphology, size, shape and orientation. It largely affects the lithium distribution and the propensity of lithium plating.”

Using a 3D battery model, it has been possible to determine where and when lithium plating begins, and how fast it develops. Dr. Xuekun Lu describes this as being a significant breakthrough, one that could have a huge impact on electric vehicles going forward.

The study has provided a new look into fast charging processes for electric vehicles. By understanding the way that lithium is distributed within graphite negative electrodes, it’s possible to create more efficient charging processes, whilst also reducing the chances of lithium plating occuring.

Along with charging times and faster charging, the research revealed that refinding the structure of the graphic electrode can boost how energy efficient the battery is. If changes are made, it’s possible that electric vehicles could last for longer before needing to be charged.

In the world of electric car charging and batteries, this study is momentous. It could result in long lasting charge, faster charging and safer charging for electric cars.


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