Aluminum-Ion Batteries: The Cost-Efficient Alternatives to Lithium Batteries

A team of researchers, Prof. Dr. Birgit Esser, Prof. Dr. Anna Fischer and Prof. Dr. Ingo Krossing helped make a significant advancement in the development of aluminum-ion battery. The group created a positive aluminum-ion electrode out of an organic redox polymer material that has shown greater storing capacity than the conventional graphite. The redox polymer electrode demonstrated great promise after undergoing 5,000 charge cycles at 10 degrees Centigrade, whilst still retaining 88% of its energy.

The Current Focus on the Development of Aluminum-Ion Batteries

The goal in the development of aluminum-ion batteries is to introduce them as potential alternatives to the conventional lithium batteries. Lithium has become a hard-to-source material and at the same time difficult to use as recycling material. Aluminum on the other hand, is abundantly occurring on the Earth’s crust. It is highly recyclable as it is comparatively safer, making it a more cost-effective mineral than lithium

The Search for Materials with Greater Storage Capacity

Researchers focused on enhancing the properties of aluminum batteries Their next goal was to look for appropriate materials that can give the electrode better and more storage capacity.

The goal was achieved by the team of scientists at University of Freiburg in Germany, led by Dr. Gauthier Studer. The scientists used organic redox polymers as electrodes of the aluminum batteries.

In the early stages of the development, the experiments already showed that aluminum-ion had the capacity to store what was previously unattainable.

The final result was significant as the electrodes made from organic redox polymers of phenothiazine, were able to surpass the storage capacity of graphite.