A Phase I SBIR Program for an Ultra-lightweight Lithium Air Battery for Unmanned Air Vehicles

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$99,171.00
Award Year:
2003
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
F08630-03-C-0124
Award Id:
62401
Agency Tracking Number:
F031-2145
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
82 Mechanic Street, Pawcatuck, CT, 06379
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
617158712
Principal Investigator:
Arthur Dobley
Research Chemist
(860) 599-1100
adobley@lithion.com
Business Contact:
Vince Yevoli
General Manager, Lithion,
(860) 599-1100
vyevoli@lithion.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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