This improvement would eliminate the range issue the most important for electric vehicles now. Lithium-ion anodes absorb lithium ions and they are expanding during process having the opposite reaction to contract as the lithium ions are leaving them.
Because silicon is brittle, silicone anodes are cracking and malfunctioning during the process. Silicone anodes cannot handle repeated expansions and contractions.
Scientists at the Georgia’s Institute of Technology and Clemson University discovered a different way to manufacture lithium-ion batteries with silicone anodes using a substance extracted from brown algae. This substance is alginate preventing the silicone anodes from cracking. Another advantage of it is the achieving of eight times more energy density of traditional lithium-ion batteries. The third advantage of it, during anode manufacture, alginate can be dissolved in water, potentially making for a cleaner manufacturing process.
Usually the anode of lithium-ion batteries is the place where the “energy”, in fact, lithium ions are stored and when electric current is being drawn from the battery, the lithium ions moves over to the cathode and generate that electric current while they are travelling.
Even with existing cathodes, alginate-silicon anodes could increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries by 30 to 40 percent, mentioned Gleb Yushin, one of the researchers and director of the Center for Nanostructured Materials for Energy Storage at Georgia Tech.