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Advancement of High Energy Rechargeable Lithium Batteries

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials 

OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate a novel high energy (>400Whr/kg) rechargeable lithium battery technology to provide high quality enduring power for Battlefield Airmen wearable electronics and small unmanned aerial system (SUAS) applications. 

DESCRIPTION: The focus of this project is on providing Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) battlefield airmen (BA) with a high performance, energy-dense power source for extended runtime on dismounted missions. A significant number of military assets, including multiple types of soldier-worn systems, rely heavily on power provided by rechargeable batteries. As the capabilities of these systems increase to support current and future mission sets, there is an ever-increasing need for batteries with more electrical energy. Recent advancements in high energy electrode chemistries (e.g. Lithium metal anode, Silicon anode, nanostructured high energy cathode materials) have proven feasible for achieving specific energy densities (i.e. increased amount of stored energy for the equivalent weight) in excess of 400 Whr/kg, or approximately a 1.6X improvement over state-of-the-art Li battery technology. Specifically, lithium metal has always been considered as a “Holy Grail” of anode materials for high-energy-density batteries owing to its extremely high theoretical gravimetric capacity of 3860 mAh/g and the lowest electrochemical potential of 3.04 V. Unfortunately, significant safety challenges still exist, including dendrite growth and complex interfacial reactions, which have limited its transition to practical applications. The objective of this topic is to develop and demonstrate a novel rechargeable lithium battery with a specific energy >400 Whr/kg at C/5 discharge rate, able to maintain an objective cycle life of >250 cycles at 80 percent capacity and operate over a wide temperature range of -30 degrees C to + 49 degrees C and varying humidity conditions (0 to 100 percent). The high energy cell should have the ability to operate up to a 2C continuous discharge rate at the stated operational conditions, as well as be stored over a wide temperature range -40 degrees C to +70 degrees C. A strong focus will be on optimization and maturation of the technology for military use and safety. This topic will not consider the use of lithium sulfur or metal air batteries as proposed solutions. 

PHASE I: Design and define performance parameters/integration constraints for the battery. Demonstrate feasibility achieving the stated metric on the proposed high energy battery solution. Demonstrate overall performance improvements when compared to a common lithium ion battery. Provide testing to prove the ability to achieve safe and reliable charge/discharge capabilities, cycle life, and performance. 

PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate the high energy Li battery solution at a cell capacity of at least 4Ah, with the ability to meet the stated metrics above. Demonstrate and validate the ability to meet stated design metrics above. Develop test plan and conduct laboratory testing to confirm performance. Conduct a formal risk assessment of the high energy battery solution for transportation, storage, and use in an operational environment, perform a projected cost analysis for manufacturing, and document key program risks, as well as risk mitigation steps. Deliver a prototype high energy rechargeable Li battery cells to AFRL for testing and analysis. 

PHASE III: Mature technology and produce prototype battery packs for operational test assessments. Submit production representative articles and pass UN/DOT and MIL-STD-810G testing and certification. Develop and refine cost and schedule estimates for full rate production. 

REFERENCES: 

1. S.F. Liu, et al., "Recent development in lithium metal anodes of liquid-state rechargeable batteries," Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 730, 135-149, 2018.; 2. Zheng-Long Xu, et al., "Nanosilicon anodes for high performance rechargeable batteries," Progress in Materials Science, 90, 1-44, 2017.; 3. Md-Jamal Uddin, et al., "Nanostructured cathode materials synthesis for lithium-ion batteries," Materials Today Energy, 5, 138-157, 2017.; 4. Arumugam Manthiram, et al., "A perspective on nickel-rich layered oxide cathodes for lithium-ion batteries," Energy Storage Materials, 6, 125-139, 2017.

KEYWORDS: High Energy Lithium Battery, Rechargeable Lithium Battery, Secondary Lithium Battery, High Energy Battery Electrodes, Energy Storage, Portable Power 

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