Scientists at Stanford Revitalize Batteries By Bringing ‘Dead’ Lithium Back to Life:
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University may have found a way to revitalize rechargeable lithium batteries, potentially boosting the range of electric vehicles and battery life in next-gen electronic devices. As lithium batteries cycle, they accumulate little islands of inactive lithium that are cut off from the electrodes, decreasing the battery’s capacity to store charge. But the research team discovered that they could make this “dead” lithium creep like a worm toward one of the electrodes until it reconnects, partially reversing the unwanted process. Through charging the positively charged end of the battery (the cathode) the inactive lithium slowly reached the negatively charged end of the battery(the anode), which the team believed would increase the life of the battery. They found this extra step slowed the degradation of their test battery and increased its lifetime by nearly 30%. The researchers also found that the process could be sped up by using higher currents of electricity.