A Phase I SBIR Program for an Ultra-lightweight Lithium Air Battery for Unmanned Air Vehicles
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will advance an efficient and lightweight power plant for Unmanned Air Vehicles by developing an ultra-lightweight lithium air battery coupled with an electric motor. Specifically the project advanceslithium air batteries by focusing on an efficient air cathode structure with an increased oxygen diffusion rate. Typical problems are air cathodes with low oxygen diffusion rates and water contamination. By improving the structure of the air cathode andusing a non-aqueous proprietary thin film composite polymer electrolyte the battery system will greatly improve. The proposed air cathode structure is a carbon composite with a binding agent and metal catalysts. We propose to increase the oxygendiffusion rate of the cathode structure by investigating different carbon morphologies, varied surface areas, and a double-sided electrode to greatly increase the reactive surface area. Metal catalysts are incorporated to enhance the oxygen reductionkinetics within the cathode structure. Yardney's experience and technologies in the zinc-air and Al-air power sources will be adopted in the design of the new air cathode structure. Advantages of the proposed lithium air battery include a high energydensity, ultra-lightweight, safe design, environmentally friendly components, and an increased oxygen diffusion rate cathode. The proposed lithium air battery could be used as a high energy density primary battery for powering an electric motor in anUnmanned Air Vehicle. This air battery would actually consume oxygen from the atmosphere making it very light in weight. Commercially the new air cathode structure could be adapted to improve the capabilities of all metal air batteries. Metal airbatteries offer high energy in a highly portable package. These batteries have the potential to power camping equipment, model airplanes or any equipment where air is present.
Small Business Information at Submission:
YARDNEY TECHNICAL PRODUCTS, INC.
82 Mechanic Street Pawcatuck, CT 06379
Number of Employees: