The batteries we are using these days have are many problems. They take a long time to charge, do not store much energy, large in size, have lower than desired life cycle, and they can heat up, causing various problems.
Lithium-ion batteries recharge by transferring lithium ions between electrodes. So, the rate at which the battery will be charged is limited by the electrode materials. At slower rate, batteries take a long time to charge because of the low electrical conductivity and lithium transport of the electrodes, which limits the lithium-ion exchange.
Vorbeck, a materials company, in collaboration with U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), to implement its graphene material, Vor-x in batteries that could store large amounts of energy and recharge quickly.
Vorbeck is looking to combine hybrid material that include graphene sheets coated with a thin layer of ion-storage material, so ion-storage and electron-conducting components are close. This allows electrons and lithium ions to combine much more quickly in the electrode, which allows for fast battery recharge times. Graphene is chemically stable and has high electrical conductivity so it can move electrons easily. Improved cathodes and anodes also allow for storage of more lithium ions, which can increase the battery's capacity and give laptops longer battery life.
This could help maintain energy storage capacities for longer periods parallely making batteries safer by preventing excessive heating of the batteries. Batteries with graphene can also last significantly longer than conventional batteries, in some cases up to ten times longer.
It is expected to reach batteries with graphene for use in cell phones, laptops and power tools starting next year.