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Aerogel-Ionic Liquid Hybrid Electrolytes, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

NASA energy storage requirements for extended human and robotic missions to space require energy generating systems with high specific energy, high volumetric efficiency, greater reliability, reduced parasitic impedance, and low cost/ease of manufacture. Current lithium ion batteries cannot meet the energy requirements of these missions. Lithium-air batteries, where lithium directly reacts with air can potentially have specific energy in the range of in the order 5.2 X 103 Wh kg−1. Realizing such high performance metrics however requires significant advances in component design. The electrolyte to be used in lithium air batteries, for example, must be compatible with lithium metal, and have high ionic conductivity in the order of 10-3 Siemens/cm to achieve the promised performance metrics. MMI proposes a novel aerogel-supported ionic liquid electrolyte with very high ionic conductivity for use as electrolyte in high performance lithium air batteries. With ionic conductance in the range of milli-Siemens/cm, this electrolyte, when combined with appropriate electrodes can potentially be used to fabricate lithium air batteries with specific energies as high as 500 Wh/kg and volumetric energy densities in the order of 700 Wh/L. More »

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