TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Nuclear
OBJECTIVE: Develop an ionic liquid or solid based electrolyte for lithium metal or lithium-ion batteries that is nonflammable, has a high ionic conductivity over a wide temperature range, and is electrochemically stable to ensure long battery lifetimes.
DESCRIPTION: Rechargeable Lithium and Li-ion batteries can fail violently when subjected to an internal electrical short, are overheated, crushed, or when they are overcharged/overdischarged. Recent events such as the grounding of a commercial aircraft due to Li-ion battery fires demonstrate that the safety of Li-ion batteries is of major concern. Of particular interest are improvements in safety for Lithium and Li-ion batteries with the use of electrolytes based on nonflammable, room temperature ionic liquids or solids. These new batteries will demonstrate improved safety under various abuse/extreme conditions while also increasing the battery performance at military relevant operating temperatures (-40 to +75 degrees C), storage temperatures (-55 to +85 degrees C), and at high charge/discharge rates (capable of charging/discharging at greater than a 20C rate). These innovative solutions should also place an emphasis on reducing the acquisition costs of these alternative batteries to levels that will make them cost competitive with existing Li-ion, lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and Lithium Thermal military batteries in terms of acquisition and life cycle. During Phase II, the offeror will produce a prototype battery for a chosen Air Force (AF)/ICBM application that involves on-demand power using the advanced electrolytes. The offeror will also compare the performance to the baseline battery system. The Phase II prototype should be delivered to the AF for additional testing and evaluation. At the end of the contract, the offeror should also demonstrate the prototype to outbrief technology advancements.
PHASE I: Propose an innovative nonflammable electrolyte based on room temp ionic liquids or solids for rechargeable Lithium or Li-ion batteries. Lithium or Li-ion batteries will have equivalent or better energy & power density capability in relation to current high-rate Li-ion technology. Present experimental & other data to demonstrate feasibility of innovative solution. Prepare initial transition plan.
PHASE II: Produce an alternative safer Li-ion battery using the developed nonflammable electrolytes for use in an Air Force/ICBM on-demand power application (TBD during Phase I). The prototype battery or module size will also be determined during Phase I. Provide cost projection data to substantiate the design, performance, operational range, acquisition, and life cycle costs. Refine transition plan and business case analysis.
PHASE III: The military applications include aircraft emergency and pulse power, electric tracked vehicles, unmanned systems, hybrid military vehicles, and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). Commercial applications include hybrid and electric vehicles, portable electric drills, etc.
1: Matsui, Y., Kawaguchi, S., Sugimoto, T., Kikuta, M., Higashizaki, T., Kono, M., Yamagata, M., and Ishikawa, M., "Charge-Discharge Characteristics of a LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2 Cathode in FSI-based Ionic Liquids," Electrochemistry, Vol. 80 (2012) pp. 808-811.
2: Balducci, A., et al., "Development of safe, green and high performance ionic liquids-based batteries (ILLIBATT project)," J. Power Sources, Vol. 196 (2011) pp. 9719-9730.
3: Damen, L., Lazzari, M., and Mastragostino, M., "Safe lithium-ion battery with ionic liquid-based electrolyte for hybrid electric vehicles," J. Power Sources, Vol. 196 (2011) pp. 8692-8695.
KEYWORDS: Lithium, Lithium-ion, Batteries, Non-flammable, Ionic Liquid, Electrolyte, Safety