Graphene has been dubbed as the new wonder material for its superlative properties and potential applications. It is a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon that is stronger than steel, lighter than paper, and capable of conducting heat and electricity more efficiently than copper. Graphene is commonly used in batteries for its high surface area, which enables effective electron transfer from the positive to negative electrode. In this article, we discuss how graphene is used in electric vehicle batteries, along with some examples of such batteries available on the market today.
What is Graphene?
Graphene is a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon that has a host of unique properties. It is stronger than steel and capable of conducting heat and electricity more efficiently than copper. It is also very flexible, transparent, and has an extremely high tensile strength. Graphene has been widely researched since its discovery in the year 2004. It has been hailed as a potential game-changer in various industries such as food and nutrition, electronics, energy storage, and healthcare. Graphene is commonly used in batteries for its high surface area, which enables effective electron transfer from the positive to negative electrode. It is also used in supercapacitors for energy storage.
Graphene in Electric Vehicle Batteries
Graphene has been used in batteries for many years now. The first commercial graphene-based battery was produced in 2018. Graphene-based batteries are expected to hit the market in large numbers in the coming years. Graphene-based lithium-ion batteries can store more energy than standard lithium-ion batteries. They have greater stability and conductivity, and are able to charge faster. Graphene is used as the positive electrode while the negative electrode is mostly composed of graphite. Graphite is used as a current collector, to collect the current at the negative electrode, and copper is used as the electrolyte.
Why Use Graphene in Electric Vehicle Batteries?
Graphene-based lithium-ion batteries can store more energy than standard lithium-ion batteries. They have greater stability and conductivity, and are able to charge faster. Graphene-based lithium-ion batteries are also lighter and thinner than traditional lithium-ion batteries, making them suitable for electric vehicles. Graphene-based lithium-ion batteries do not catch fire as easily as lead-acid batteries. They also do not require as much maintenance, and boast of a longer lifespan. Graphene-based lithium-ion batteries are also more cost-effective, compared to other advanced battery technologies.
Graphene-based Lithium-Ion Batteries
In order to produce efficient graphene-based lithium-ion batteries, it is important to understand their electrolyte, electrodes, and separator. The electrolyte is the part of the battery that allows for the transfer of ions between the positive and negative electrodes. It can be made in different forms, such as liquid, viscous, or solid. Graphene can be used as an electrolyte, as it is a highly conductive material. It is commonly used in lithium-ion batteries with an organic solvent, such as ethylene carbonate, propylene carbonate, or ethylmethyl carbonate. Graphene-based lithium-ion batteries use two electrodes: a positive electrode (cathode) made of graphene and a negative electrode (anode) made of graphite. The separator is used to keep the electrodes apart, while allowing the movement of ions. Common used materials include polyethylene and polypropylene.
Graphene-Based Ultra-fast Charging Battery
Ultra-fast charging batteries charge in just a few minutes, instead of the several hours required by lithium-ion batteries. However, they are also extremely unstable. Now, scientists have developed an ultra-fast charging graphene battery that is stable enough to be used in electric vehicles. Graphene can be used as the positive electrode while the negative electrode is mostly composed of graphite. While most batteries use liquid electrolytes, the ultra-fast charging battery uses a solid electrolyte. This electrolyte has high conductivity, and allows for ions to move freely. The ultra-fast charging battery also uses a solid separator, as opposed to the liquid separators used in conventional lithium-ion batteries. Graphene-based ultra-fast charging batteries can be used in electric vehicles and drones.
Graphene Solid-State Battery
Graphene-based ultra-fast charging batteries are not the best option for EVs, as they can only be charged a few times before they deteriorate. The graphene solid-state battery, on the other hand, is more suitable for electric vehicles. Graphene-based solid-state batteries are widely considered as the next-gen batteries due to their enhanced charging rate, stability, and energy capacity. The graphene-based solid-state batteries use electrolytes that are slurry or gel. They can be charged significantly faster than conventional lithium-ion batteries. Graphene-based solid-state batteries are, however, more expensive than conventional lithium-ion batteries. Electric vehicles powered by graphene solid-state batteries can charge as fast as refuelling a traditional car.
Graphene is an efficient material that can be used in batteries of different types, such as lithium-ion batteries, ultra-fast charging batteries, and solid-state batteries. Graphene-based lithium-ion batteries have the potential to revolutionize the battery industry and make electric vehicles more accessible and affordable. However, there is still much research that needs to be done before we can see these batteries being used in electric vehicles.