Just Released! Order “Waking Up to Climate Change” by George Ropes, and receive 25% Discount. Learn More

HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

The Next Big Thing: Solid State Battery By City Tech Blogger Brian Gomes

I think we are in the process of doing something revolutionary, that is  mass-producing solid-state batteries. Solid-state batteries are like lithium-ion batteries but better. They promise to provide more energy, less charging time, longer life, and  safer to use. Solid-state batteries are not a new concept, in fact one of its first uses was in the pacemaker for heart patients in the 1970s. While the batteries are good in small applications, it has yet to prove  their applications in consumer electronic devices, electric cars, and battery storage centers.

Many believe that solid-state batteries are the next generation of batteries, and they are doubling down with billions of dollars into research and manufacturing facilities.  Recently, Toyota announced $13.6 billion investment in battery technology, focusing mainly on solid-state. Countries are also interested. Japan, for example, is setting up a 19.2 billion dollar grant to aid the research for decarbonization technology, which includes battery research. Some of the other companies  interested are Ford, Samsung, BP, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, BMW, Renault, Nissan, Fisker, Panasonic, and the list goes on. Below I will discuss how the current lithium-ion batteries  compared to the solid-state batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries have two electrodes – anode (positive) and cathode (negative), a  semi-permeable separator in the center, and a liquid electrolyte. When a battery is charging, the electrons in the cathode flow through the external power source (battery charger) to the anode. At the same time, the lithium-ions in the cathode flow through the liquid electrolyte and the separator to the anode’s side. When a device is connected to the anode and cathode, the anode releases the electrons and the lithium-ions so that they can flow back. This causes the device to receive power. Once all the electrons and lithium-ions flow back, you will have a dead battery. You can keep this cycle going for many runs, but eventually, the battery will get weaker and hold less and less charge. Another issue lithium-ion batteries face is with the dendrite. Over time, deposits of the lithium-ion can build up in the anode, forming spikes that can puncture the separator. If the spikes manage to touch the cathode, you will have a swollen battery or. worse case, an explosion.

Solid-state batteries

Solid-state batteries work very  similarly to Lithium-ion batteries. One big difference is that solid-state batteries use solid electrolyte. This makes them more compact and, most importantly, safer from the dendrite issue. Research suggests solid state batteries can hold more energy, as well as charge much faster than the current lithium-ion ones. They also claim that solid-state batteries can last for more charging cycles, hence giving them longer lives.

So, you might ask, why aren’t solid-state batteries more commonly used? It turns out that solid-state batteries are difficult to manufacture, and scientists are still testing out new materials, preferably those which are abundant and affordable. There is also a lack of facilities for mass production. Because of this, whatever is being produced is minimal and pricey. Companies are hoping that in the future, solid-state batteries could be a fitting rival to the well-used lithium-ion batteries though economics of scale.

Lithium-ion batteries were a  game-changer, and they pretty much made it possible for us to have portable electronic devices, electric cars, and battery storage centers. But they are  by no means perfect. We need a new battery that can counteract the flaws found in lithium-ion batteries, while still being affordable and accessible. Many  think solid-state batteries will be the answer.










Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


More Posts Like This


The Connection Between Climate Change and Intensifying Hurricanes

Climate change was once a topic that many underestimated, but today, it is an undeniable reality that shapes our world. Over the past two weeks, I learned about the ideal conditions of hurricane formation, and what I discovered has left me thinking about the impact of climate change.


My Take on Climate Change

Hi, my name is Matthew and climate change has had its impact on myself, and many people I know. A major portion of these are the impacts on agriculture. Farms are being affected, especially in South Asia with extreme weather leading to many crop failures such as rice


Negative Effects of Climate Change

What is climate change? In simple terms climate change is the long term effects of the earth’s weather patterns, its increase in temperature, and the breakdown in the ozone layer. The debate on whether climate change is real or not stems from the extreme release of greenhouse gasses