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Faster and stronger lithium-ion batteries might be in our future

This, clearly, isn’t the battery the MIT team is working on.

Image: Shutterstock / sdecoret

The lithium-ion battery in your phone might look like a solid chunk of energy-producing plastic at first glance, but if you were to bust it open and take a closer look, you’d see there’s also some liquid inside. That’s because most lithium-ion batteries are composed of multiple parts: two solid electrodes, separated by a polymer membrane infused with a liquid or gel electrolyte.

Now, MIT researchers believe they have taken the first steps forward in the development of all-solid-state lithium-ion batteries, according to new research published in Advanced Energy Materials. In non-nerd speak, that basically means batteries that could store more energymeaning less trips to a power outlet.

The team’s report was co-authored by grad students Frank McGrogan and Tushar Swamy. They investigated the mechanics of lithium sulfides, which could someday replace the liquid as a more stable, solid form of electrolyte.

Switching out the liquid electrolytes for solids could be a big move. The all-solid batteries would likely be able to store more energy, “pound for pound,” at the battery pack level than current lithium-ion packs. They’d also be much less unstable, since dendrites, which are metallic projections that sometimes grow through liquid electrolyte layers, would be less likely to occur.

The research team looked to to test the sulfide’s fracture toughness, which is essential to the material’s role in a lithium-ion battery. If it’s too brittle and can’t handle the stresses of continual power cycling, it could crack and open up space for those same dendrites to form.

The MIT team probed the sulfide-based material to learn more about its mechanical properties.

Image: MIT

The research faced one significant hurdle, however: the sulfide is so sensitive to room conditions it can’t be experimented on in the open air. In order to test the material, the team placed the sulfide in a bath of mineral oil to prevent it from reacting before being measured for its mechanical properties. This was the first experiment to test for lithium sulfide’s fracture properties.

After the test, the researchers concluded that the material does indeed crack under high stress conditions, “like a brittle piece of glass.”

That said, the knowledge gained could allow the team to build new battery systems by “calculat[ing] how much stress the material can tolerate before it fractures, according to MIT associate professor Krystyn Van Vliet, who contributed to the research.

Co-author Frank McGrogan agrees. This exact form of the sulfide won’t be the solid material that makes it into the form of lithium-ion batteries we use today. But since the team can study its properties and design new battery systems around that knowledge, someday it could still have potential for use.

You have to design around that knowledge, he said.

Read more:

Increasing R&D Activity & Expanding Applications Drive the Global Sol-Gel Products Market, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

San Jose, California (PRWEB) April 22, 2015

Follow us on LinkedIn – Strong investments in R&D has resulted in a wide number of sol-gel products being commercialized in recent years. Currently, a number of products are in pipeline in various stages of development, testing, and evaluation. Demand for Sol-Gel processing is surging, due to the superior homogeneity and purity of glass and ceramic materials synthesized using the process, when compared to the conventional methods. Sol-gel techniques enable ceramics and glass to be shaped at low temperatures into fibers, films, monoliths, nano-powders, and a variety of other forms that would otherwise be impossible to achieve through conventional processes.

The market in the coming years is poised to benefit from the expanding use of sol-gel products in aerospace, automotive, construction, cosmetics, agriculture, analytical chemistry, food and beverages, architecture, biomedicine, chemical, defense, dentistry, electronics, environmental, refrigeration, and textiles. In the electronics sector, sol-gel products are used for manufacturing fiber optic sensors, and thin films and coatings for optical, electronic, and opto-electronic devices and components. Luminescent solar concentrators; gasochromic, photochromic, and electrochromic plates for intelligent windows; active waveguides; environmental sensors; biological impurity sensors; non-linear and linear optics materials; and semiconductor quantum dots are few of the numerous advanced materials being developed for optoelectronic applications.

Sol-gel technologies are also being used in the production of anti-reflective coatings for architectural and automotive applications, decorative and protective coatings for various substrates; and lasers and nonlinear-active and passive waveguides. Sol-Gel processes are being used for synthesizing aerogels, nanofibers, and ultra-thin, multi-functional nano-coatings with enhanced anti-bacterial, easy-to-clean, self-cleaning, anti-fouling, hydrophilic or hydrophobic, fingerprint-resistant, abrasion-resistant, or heat resistant properties. The biomedical field represents another major end-use sector, with applications ranging from biomolecule carriers for biomedical and dental products, to filtration and separation membranes. Increased focus on preventing cross-infections and nosocomial infections is enabling sol-gel processes to play a vital role in the development of bio-active antimicrobial nanocoatings and materials for a diverse array of bio-medical products and surfaces.

As stated by the new market research report on Sol-Gel Products, the United States represents the largest market worldwide. The country also ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 8.9% over the analysis, supported by increasing research and development initiatives in Sol-Gel technology.

Major players in the market include 3M Company, Aspen Aerogels Inc. Cabot Corp., Chemat Technology Inc., Compagnie De Saint-Gobain SA, Gaema Tech Co. Ltd, MarkeTech International Inc., Nanogate AG, NTC Nano Tech Coatings GmbH, Prinz Optics GmbH, and TAASI Corporation.

The research report titled “Sol-Gel Products: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends, issues, drivers, mergers, acquisitions and other strategic industry activities of global companies. The report provides market estimates and projections for all major geographic markets such as the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Rest of Europe markets), Asia-Pacific, and Rest of World.

For more details about this comprehensive market research report, please click here

About Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

Global Industry Analysts Inc., (GIA) is a leading publisher of off-the-shelf market research. Founded in 1987, the company currently employs over 800 people worldwide. Annually, GIA publishes 1500+ full-scale research reports and analyzes 40,000+ market and technology trends while monitoring more than 126,000 Companies worldwide. Serving over 9500 clients in 27 countries, GIA is recognized today, as one of the world’s largest and reputed market research firms.

Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

Telephone: 408-528-9966

Fax: 408-528-9977

Email: press(at)StrategyR(dot)com

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Global Industry Analysts, Inc. 6150 Hellyer Ave., San Jose CA 95138, USA, All Rights Reserved.


Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation Applauds Institute of Medicine Report on Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest survivors Ellie Whelan (left), Ginnie Gick and David Belkin (right), with committee member, Tom Aufderheide, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation applauds the Institute of Medicine report, “Strategies to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival: A Time to Act,” released this week in Washington, D.C. The report suggests the U.S. is falling short in efforts to improve outcomes from cardiac arrest and offers strategies to increase survival rates.

“The Institute of Medicine report on cardiac arrest, ‘A Time to Act,’ is a landmark study that has the potential to positively impact survival and post-survival quality of life,” said Mary Newman, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation president. “We are especially pleased that the IOM recommends all students should learn CPR and how to use automated external defibrillators (AEDs) before high school graduation.”

Unlike many other medical conditions, cardiac arrest requires immediate help from the community. When bystanders recognize the emergency and act quickly by calling 9-1-1, starting CPR, and using the nearest AED, the chances of survival increase dramatically. “Our growing community of survivors is a testament to the power of swift community action,” said Newman. “Our vision is to see the day when survival from cardiac arrest becomes the norm, rather than the exception. Activating our communities is a key to realizing that vision.”

Cardiac arrest, the cessation of the electrical and mechanical activity of the heart, is the third leading cause of death in the United States, following cancer and heart disease, according to the IOM. It strikes about 395,000 people outside hospitals every year and on average, less than 6 percent of victims survive. Yet some high-performing communities in the U.S. have reported survival rates of more than 60 percent for specific types of cardiac arrest, which indicates that saving more lives is possible.

Despite its large public health footprint, cardiac arrest does not resonate with the public and policy makers the same way as other conditions such as stroke, cancer, and HIV, according to committee member Lance Becker, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania. “The most significant finding of this study is that some communities are doing very well in treating cardiac arrest, but the average American does not live in one of those communities.”

The IOM committee recommends that the following actions should be undertaken by several stakeholder groups, namely the public, EMS response organizations, health care organizations, researchers, and policy/advocacy/political groups:

1. Establish a national registry of cardiac arrest to monitor performance, identify problems, and track progress

2. Educate and train the public on how to recognize cardiac arrest, contact emergency responders, administer CPR, and use AEDs

3. Facilitate state and local education departments to include CPR and AED training as secondary school graduation requirements

4. Enhance performance of EMS systems with emphasis on dispatcher-assisted CPR and high-performance CPR

5. Develop strategies to improve systems of care within hospital settings

6. Adopt continuous quality improvement programs for cardiac arrest

7. Expand research in cardiac arrest resuscitation and promote innovative technologies and treatments

8. Create a national cardiac arrest collaborative to unify the field and identify common goals.

“It is exciting to know that our efforts to raise awareness and save lives align with the Institute of Medicine recommendations,” said David Belkin, a cardiac arrest survivor and member of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation board of directors. The Foundation works to educate the public and media about the difference between heart attack and cardiac arrest, to advocate for legislative changes that ensure all high school students undergo CPR-AED education before graduation, to deploy more AEDs, and to grow the community of cardiac arrest survivors and family members affected by sudden cardiac arrest, who may become advocates for the cause.

“Survivors and advocacy groups are critical to moving forward in the quest to save lives from sudden cardiac arrest,” said Becker.

About the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation is a national community benefit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and saving lives. Programs include educational campaigns for secondary schools and colleges and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Network, an online community that provides peer support and opportunities for survivors and family members to participate in awareness, advocacy, and research initiatives.

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