Designer carbon provides longer battery life

Energ2’s nanostructured carbon anodes can boost lithium-ion battery capacity by 30 percent
April 2, 2013

(Credit: Energ2)

EnerG2 has developed a carbon anode that improves the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries by up to 30 percent without requiring a new battery design or a different manufacturing process, MIT Technology Review reports.

EnerG2’s new lithium-ion battery anode is made of a form of carbon in which the atoms have a disorganized, amorphous structure, compared to the crystalline structure of graphite, the material normally used for anodes. EnerG2’s “hard carbon,” as the material is called, can store 50 percent more energy per area on its surface than graphite.

Hard carbon anodes tend to lose storage capacity when batteries are first charged. EnerG2 has been able to engineer an anode with a level of loss that is acceptable for battery makers, says CEO Rick Luebbe.

The company’s process controls the chemical reactions that occur as raw carbon is converted into a finished product. That means it can optimize the surface area, pore size, and pore density of carbon for different applications.

Batteries with more energy density could allow electric vehicles to travel longer on a charge and enable lighter, thinner electronic gadgets.