SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  A10-139 (Army)
Title:  Lithium Air Rechargeable Battery
Research & Technical Areas:  Ground/Sea Vehicles

Acquisition Program:  
  Objective:  Develop a low cost Lithium Air rechargeable energy battery for Non primary Power Systems and silent watch applications that can provide a much higher energy density than either Lithium Ion or current Lead Acid batteries.
  Description:  Lithium Ion batteries have high energy densities as compared to many other battery systems. With the growing requirement for high energy and long duration energy storage system for Silent Watch, the Army has interest in supporting higher energy density storage system research to meet this need and support tomorrow’s warfighters. The Li Ion positive electrode represents a major obstacle to progress. An alternative approach involves replacing the interaction electrode with a porous electrode and allowing lithium to react directly with oxygen from the air. This battery is called Lithium Air battery. Current rechargeable Lithium Air batteries have limited life. The Army is soliciting proposals to develop Lithium Air batteries that will deliver more than 1000 Wh/kg (C/20 rate desired) at the cell level while having more than 200 full charge/discharge cycles in open air. Other desirable characteristics include limited self discharge, good charge/discharge efficiency, and good low temperature performance, high charge/discharge current densities, long calendar life, and low cost. Proposals must provide a clear discussion, based upon available data and theory, to support an assertion that the design to be developed will offer acceptable performance and meet the energy storage goal. Approaches of interest must include a demonstration of the cell performance in open air cells by the end of Phase 1. The goal of this technology development is to design, develop, and test an advanced rechargeable lithium-air battery.

  PHASE I: Conduct research to demonstrate feasibility of the proposed concept through cell design and testing. Phase I will address the 1000 Wh/kg specific energy performance characteristics and demonstrate progress towards the C/20 rate and 200 cyles goal by building and testing experimental cells. A technical report documenting findings is expected from phase I deliverables.
  PHASE II: Modify the design and further demonstrate proof of the concept with the fabrication and testing of multiple lithium-air cells (>3 Ah). The cycle life of the test cells shall be more than 200 full cycles while the Lithium Air battery should demonstrate specific energy density of more than 1000Wh/kg (C/20 rate desireable). Delivery shall include prototype cells and small multicell demonstrator batteries for lab verification and evaluation.

  PHASE III: The resulting technology will be used to produce batteries suitable to be intregrated into current Army ground vehicle platforms for Silent Watch. It will also enable increased performance of commercial electric vehicles. Markets for the technology include Military Vehicle Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), battery manufacturers, and commercial electric vehicle OEMs, and computer OEMs. The goal in this phase will be to initiate the manufacturing processes to produce Lithium Air batteries and to evaluate the products for military and commercial applications.

  References:   1. K. M. Abraham and Z. Jiang, “A Polymer Electrolyte-Based Rechargeable Lithium/Oxygen Battery”, J. Electrochem. Soc., 143(1996)1. 2. J. Read, “Characterization of the Lithium/Oxygen Organic Electrolyte Battery”, J. Electrochem. Soc. 149(2002)A1190. 3. Linden, D.; Reddy, T.B., Eds.; Handbook of Batteries, 3rd ed.; McGraw-Hill: New York, 2002. 4. Aurelie Debart, Jianli Bao, Graham Armstrong, and Peter G. Bruce, “Effect of Catalyst on the Performance of Rechargeable Lithium/Air Batteries”, ECS Trans. 3 (27), 225 (2007)

Keywords:  lithium air, batteries, electrolyte, separators, specific energy, long life

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