Masdar Institute makes first foray into advanced lithium battery technology.
Continuing its pioneering of renewable energy technologies that have great relevance for the Middle East – such as its recent work on sand-resistant solar – the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates has just filed a provisional patent application with the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office for a new solid polymer electrolyte technology for Li-ion batteries.
The idea was to increase the temperature range at which lithium batteries can work, an essential first step to the widespread adoption of electric cars in the hot Middle East where temperatures can go as high as 48 degrees C (118 degrees Fahrenheit).
The research is, no doubt, partly driven by the university’s unique setting. The Masdar Institute is sited within the first eco city in the world – based on a futuristic rethinking of our carbon dependent civilization. Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City has been described as feeling almost like a set for a science fiction movie.
Masdar City is half-powered by solar, and has – as just one of the eco city’s carbon-conserving green city planning ideas electric pod cars that move the city’s inhabitants around using zero gasoline.
But the pod cars need batteries capable of withstanding the huge temperature range in the Middle East. These new solid polymer electrolyte technology for Li-ion batteries would enhanced room temperature ionic conductivity, and enhance the mechanical stability which enables it to be used at a wide temperature range, even without adding any flammable organic solvents that are typically used with lithium-ion batteries.
Conventional solid polymer electrolytes have poor mechanical properties at elevated temperatures, compared to the electrolyte developed at Masdar Institute. The electrolyte material the team has developed can be used to make batteries of varying sizes for different applications.
The Masdar Institute is an independent research-driven graduate-level university, which has an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the U.S.
The team of scientists and researchers was led by Dr. Raed Hashaikeh, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, and included Materials Science and Engineering students Yarjan Abdul Samad, Ali Asghar, and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Boor Lalia.
Chalk another one up for Abu Dhabi’s eco initiative, that stands out in the oil-dependent Middle East that has demonstrated its ability to think ahead to the coming post-oil age. Abu Dhabi Prince Shames White House by Crowning Court Roof