Currently one of the major limitations of battery power, energy and lifecycle is the design and material used for the electrode. Existing electrodes have relatively low electrical, thermal and ionic conductivity, along with poor mechanical behavior when discharged and recharged, and can also suffer from early delamination and degradation leading to safety and lifecycle issues.
However, the development of a new ultra-fast carbon electrode by French company NAWA, using a vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VACNT) design, is claimed to combine high ionic conductivity – due to a 3D fully accessible nanostructure – with excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, thanks to its arrangement of 100 billion nanotubes/cm2 .
The company states this new 3D electrode geometry can solve the vast majority of performance constraints faced by global battery makers, boosting battery power by a factor of 10, energy storage by up to three and lifecycle by up to five, as well as reducing charging time down to minutes instead of hours.
It notes that the electrode is a universal system, available as a primer for existing electrodes – where the VACNT increases electrical conduction. It is also available as a full 3D electrode (anode or cathode) where the VACNT design serves as a framework on which lithium insertion material can be coated. The company expects the technology to be introduced and in production as early as 2023.
In addition, the company says it is developing a concept called NAWAShell, an integrated structural hybrid battery that incorporates VACNT to give two complementary characteristics: enhanced mechanical strength and electrical energy storage within the core of the composite structure.
Pascal Boulanger, founder, chairman of the board, CTO and COO, commented, “Since the beginning of the battery industry, most performance increases have come from materials but it has reached a plateau today. Combine abundant carbon with nanoscale electrode architecture advances and you have a game-changer.
“NAWA’s Ultra Fast Carbon Electrode brings a step change in electrode design and performance thanks to our vertically aligned carbon nanotube technology. Offering huge increases in power, energy storage and lifecycle, as well as being clean and cost-effective, the potential is enormous.”