February 24, 2024

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Singapore’s Niobium-Graphene Batteries Revolutionise Power Solutions

Image credits: news.nus.edu.sg

The Centre for Advanced 2D Materials (CA2DM) at the National University of Singapore (NUS), an innovator in the study of graphene and other 2-dimensional (2D) materials and the global leader in niobium products and technology, has created the first niobium-graphene batteries, which will solve all these problems.

Many modern gadgets, such as mobile phones, pacemakers, and electric vehicles, rely on batteries for electricity. Traditional lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, have drawbacks such as safety issues, short life cycles, and lengthy charging periods.

Because traditional lithium-ion batteries have these limits, digital innovation has fuelled the development of novel battery technologies, such as niobium-graphene batteries, to overcome these concerns and revolutionise power solutions for modern gadgets.

The batteries are being evaluated at a new advanced battery laboratory that was recently created with a joint investment of USD 3.8 million (S$5 million) over three years, supported by the National Research Foundation of Singapore.

According to Professor Antonio Castro Neto, Director of CA2DM, the advanced battery laboratory is the most technologically advanced and well-equipped facility in Singapore for exploring new frontiers in battery technology.

The lab provides advanced equipment for researchers to generate new solid electrolytes, build diverse cell shapes, and ultimately put their inventions to the test. They have made great progress in developing niobium-graphene batteries, which are proving to be game changers in terms of safety, efficiency, and sustainability.

When compared to standard lithium-ion batteries, the pioneer niobium-graphene batteries have demonstrated superior performance and safety. Also, volatile, and flammable liquid electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries will be replaced by niobium-containing solid electrolytes, improving the safety and energy density of the innovative batteries.

Long life cycles, safety, fast charging, enhanced performance, and sustainability are all advantages of niobium-graphene batteries.

Niobium is the major active material in the negative electrode of batteries and is also used as an additive in the positive electrode. Graphene, on the other hand, is used to improve electronic conductivity and structural stability in both negative and positive electrodes.

The unique crystal structure of niobium materials in the negative electrode enables rapid charging without compromising the structure. Niobium materials in the positive electrode can increase ionic conductivity and protect the active material from degradation. In addition, the low density of graphene significantly enhances the electronic conductivity of both electrodes without diminishing the battery’s overall energy density.

In the first quarter of 2024, the final prototype of the niobium-graphene battery is anticipated to be completed.

As they have a longer lifespan than existing lithium-ion batteries, the new graphene-niobium batteries substantially reduce the total cost of ownership and have ultrafast charging capabilities. In addition, they offer a higher level of safety because even at high temperatures there is no danger of explosion.

In addition to being the first batteries to combine niobium applications on both the cathode and the anode, they also offer higher input and output power, a broader temperature operating range, and a higher state of charge. Thus, commercial and industrial applications, including regenerative braking systems for hybrid vehicles such as rails, trucks, and passenger cars; and heavy-duty applications, intralogistics, and cordless power tools, among others, can be developed for specific markets.

The new laboratory is outfitted with state-of-the-art facilities for advanced niobium-based batteries and solid electrolytes research and production.

The versatility of niobium-graphene batteries is a result of their high-performance capabilities. In the medical sector, they can power life-saving devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators, providing dependable and durable energy sources for life-saving procedures.

In the aerospace industry, batteries can be used in satellites and spacecraft to provide reliable and efficient power solutions for space missions. Niobium-graphene batteries are suitable for environments where dependability, longevity, and safety are of the utmost importance due to their durability and performance.

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