Better Batteries with silicon might be responsible for affordable electric cars in the near future. Such batteries will also be lighter and quicker to charge.
In this article, ER Optics electrifies your imagination with an amazing quote from Rick Constantino who flourishes as the co-founder and CTO of Group 14 Technologies. He stated, “Silicon has transformed the way we store information, and now it’s transforming the way we store energy.”
Rick Constantino’s words led writer Jason Hartman to describe him as a “disruptor” in the battery technology and industry.
The Man Behind These Powerful Words about Better Batteries with Silicon
To appreciate these significant words, you must know a little more about the identity of Rick Constantino. Thus, let us briefly introduce the man who has written and spoken at length on the very topic of using silicon to create better batteries.
We found his background and innovative discoveries in Jason Hartman’s article in Authority magazine. In Hartman’s words, Constantino is the co-founder and CTO of a company that is “commercializing an innovative lithium-silicon battery technology.”
Additionally, Constantino states that the battery with silicon is “designed to increase energy density by 50%.”
Constantino’s Better Battery Backstory
He ought to know about this, because, as Hartman points out, Constantino has 30 years of experience in “developing stable, high-performance products at the molecular level…” Likewise, he has scientific credentials proven by his B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT.
Better Batteries: Beginning Research
Silicon in batteries presented scientists with a promise and a problem. Both were expansive and expensive.
- The Promise of Silicon – Technologists knew that silicon was a promising medium for anodes in batteries. Silicon “can hold 10 times as many lithium ions.” We even knew this in 2016.
- Infusing lithium with silicon also promised a considerable reduction in price.
- The Problem with Silicon – You see, it would expand “the volume of the anode when it expanded and contracted.” Logically, this would create material fractures, and nobody wants those in a battery.
The Passion for Silicon-Infused Better Batteries
With dedication and hard work, and 15 years of failure vs. success, technicians and scientists have conquered the problems. and “Silicon’s time as a mainstay in the material in batteries has finally arrived.” Let’s look at how car manufacturers and anode startup businesses have partnered up to make silicon the star ingredient in batteries.
According to the article, “The Age of Silicon Is Here…for Batteries.” Many companies have just one high-minded purpose behind all this battery work. The dream is to reduce the price of electric vehicles. Making the price more affordable would put the cost of electric cars in line with gas-powered automobiles.
- General Motors and OneD Battery Sciences have joined investments to install OneD’s silicon nanotechnology into GM’s Ultium batteries.
- Meanwhile, the silicon technology Created by Sila Nanotechnologies, will be powering the Mercedes G-class SUV.
- Constantino’s Group 14 has promised its silicon battery set-up will be in Porshe electric vehicles within the next two years.
Show Me the Money for Better Batteries
Certainly, all this research and fast manufacturing come at a price. Group 14, Sila, and Amprius Technologies raised almost half a billion dollars to support their anode materials. Likewise, the US gave them $250 million from the Department of Energy. Great cooperation between government and companies deserves applause.
Better Batteries—Totaling Up Costs in Three Areas: Research, Development, and Manufacturing Centers
Then Group 14 turned to the private sector and added $214 million to their budget.
“All three of the above companies will have domestic gigawatt-scale factories up and running in the next few years.” Group 14 Technologies have already begun to build their manufacturing plant at Moses Lake in Washington
The “Why” Behind Silicon Efficacy for Better Batteries
We want to stress why putting silicon in batteries works better than the classic graphite.
- In the first place, Silicon holds more lithium ions than traditional graphite in electric vehicle batteries.
- Likewise, Silicon is speedy. It “shuttles those ions across the battery’s membrane faster.”
- Silicon is the most abundant metalloid on earth, so it is cheaper and saves costs.
Presently, the status quo in batteries for electric vehicles is the graphite anode matter. Thus, Silicon could save some energy independence issues and resolve annoying supply-chain problems. However, the graphite anode battery will probably not exist much longer. To travel the road to the future, you will empower your electric car with better silicon anodes and better batteries.
This is just one more truth about the power of silicon and the “Wonderland of science.”