A University of Michigan research team led by associate professor Jeff Sakamoto have successfully demonstrated manufacturing lithium metal batteries with double the capacity of standard lithium ion using existing battery manufacturing infrastructure.
"Batteries made with lithium metal anodes can safely double the output of similarly-sized lithium ion cells, which use graphite anodes. To do that, the team utilized a solid-state electrolyte known as LLZO, which takes the place of the liquid electrolytes found in commercial batteries.
But lithium metal is reactive and weak, making it extremely difficult to handle and integrate into batteries, especially using state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. U-M’s team has found a workaround that essentially allows the battery build itself. Their approach harnesses the lithium already contained within common cathode materials. When the battery is charged for the first time, the lithium ions on the cathode side if the cell are extracted and moved to the anode side of the cell—effectively synthesizing a lithium metal anode."