fbpx
October 25, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Can Tin Anodes Make for Better Lithium-ion Batteries?

lithium-ion cells 18650

We keep following the news on Lithium-ion because, well, it’s an evolving technology. The thing with Li-ion batteries is that it represents a major leap forward in terms of power-to-weight ratios and performance capabilities. However, it’s not a quantum leap forward over NiCd batteries or NiMH batteries. No, for that we’ll need to experience something that will revolutionize the density of stored power or recharge-ability. And that’s why we keep our eyes peeled for news of what’s coming up around the bend. Most recently, researchers at Washington State University claimed to have discovered a method of packing more energy into a lithium-ion battery. But they also did one better: they claim to also have discovered a way to charge the battery at a faster rate using tin anodes.


Tin Anodes in Lithium-ion Batteries

The Washington State trick is to actually swap out the anode material (currently graphite) for good ole fashioned tin. This is per Grant Norton, professor of mechanical and materials engineering at the University. He heads up the research in this department. And the increase in capacity isn’t small. Professor Norton claims there will be a three-fold gain in storage capacity from using tin. The reason graphite is used is that it’s relatively common and inexpensive. Possibly the most important factor, however—it’s stable.

So, integrating other materials into Lithium-ion batteries isn’t the big deal. Getting it to work on a nanoscale, is. And the cost involved in properly procuring and preparing those materials also factors in. This is one of the reasons manufacturers haven’t gone to silicon, for example. Silicon, on paper, holds a ton more lithium-ions (and thus potential energy in terms of density) than graphite, but they haven’t figure out how to stabilize it yet. Tin anodes aren’t as good as silicon, but it’s already being used in part by such companies as Sony, for example, and there is more promise that it can be ramped up to real-world production and performance requirements.

The key development with respect to Washington State University’s work involves electroplating as the method and means of using tin anodes properly. They also seek to reduce the required manufacturing steps to do it. Lots of work remains before this becomes a reality. Still, this adds yet one more direction to a rather promising mix of technologies.


Related articles

7 Essential Table Saw Safety Tips from the Pros

Table saws are one of the most common and helpful tools in the workshops of both Pros and non-Pros alike. A healthy respect for all tools is important. However, the need for safety around the table saw’s large spinning blade is obvious. We’ve written more extensively about table saw safety standards, but these 7 table saw safety […]

People Misusing Large Construction Equipment

We were tooling around online today and came across several examples of how to misuse large construction equipment. And believe us, this is some gross misuse of some very large pieces of equipment. Now, the misuse was VERY impressive, but we’re not sure we’d risk our necks (or that much money) on the type of […]

The Definitive Guide to Unit Watts Out vs Torque

The Unit Watts Out (UWO) vs torque power ratings on tools have been out for years. DeWalt is one of the most popular brands that use the UWO calculation to present the overall power of a tool. There are two unfortunate issues with this. First, people still don’t seem to understand what in the world […]

Why Use a Battery-Powered Chainsaw?

So why use a battery-powered chainsaw over gas or corded models? There are several key reasons why these unconventional OPE tools are on the rise. Chiefly, new noise ordinances are driving Pros to integrate new battery-powered blowers, trimmers, and mowers into their workflow. Other reasons include the fact that battery-driven outdoor power tools are often […]

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x