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The Rebirth of the Lithium Metal Battery

More than 1,000 audience at StorageX Online Lecture by Prof. Dr. Martin Winter

StorageX Symposium RegistrationCopyright: MEET/Andre Bar

Prof. Dr. Martin Winter, Scientific Director of the MEET Battery Research Center and the Helmholtz Institute Münster, explained online why research on the lithium metal battery has been revived rather than renewed, in front of more than 1,000 online audience during the StorageX Symposium of Stanford Energy Initiative.

The history of the lithium metal battery and its future

The lithium metal battery is currently on the advance. For many scientists, it represents a potential key technology for the energy storage systems of the future, because it can bemore powerful, lighter and cheaper than the classic lithium-ion battery. The lithium metal battery was already invented in the 1960s. Already at that time there was a huge demand for highly powerful energy storage systems. But despite intensive research, scientists were unable to bring a rechargeable lithium metal battery to the market. In the late 1980s, they more or less discontinued their research on this type of energy storage system.

In 2005, the quest for new cell chemistries with higher energy density was the decisive factor to revive research and development of the lithium metal battery. These energy storage systems are particularly attractive for electromobility; after all, they can achieve a greater driving range than the lithium-ion battery. Further, new, modern analysis and cell production technologies enabled more intense research and optimisation of the lithium metal battery.

But will the lithium metal battery prevail over the competition after its rebirth? Prof. Dr. Martin Winter is certain: "We are still at the beginning of a learning curve. There is no automatic mechanism to ensure that the lithium metal battery will be the energy storage solution of the future. The same applies to solid electrolytes, which are also experiencing a hype. But the chances that both can succeed are much higher today than in the past." The battery expert substantiated his view with numerous current research results on lithium metal batteries and solid electrolytes. Both approaches are being intensively pursued at MEET Battery Research Centre at Münster University and at Helmholtz Institute Münster of Forschungszentrum Jülich.

About the StorageX Symposium of the Stanford Energy Initiative

The rebirth of the lithium metal battery and its future were the focus of Prof. Dr. Martin Winter's presentation at the StorageX Symposium. The online event series units scientists from different disciplines to discuss the progress and research results across the spectrum of energy storage. The symposium takes place Friday at 4 pm and is free of charge.