To identify the best possibilities for candidates to improve high energy density batteries, one may look at the theoretical energy density of the active materials in a particular chemistry. After that, the actual battery must be built and tested. A practical cell has from 15% to 40% of the energy density of the active material’s theoretical maximum. Shown above is a group of the most popular chemistries, along with the theoretical/practical values for Lithium-air. The theoretical value for Lithium-air has been derived from the energy density of the lithium perchloride (3620 Wh/kg) found as the result of the battery’s discharge chemical reaction. Although practical Lithium-air batteries are not yet available from which to obtain data, the estimated value shown above, of 25% of the theoretical value, was selected. With technological improvements, one wonders if practical densities over 1000 Wh/kg are unreasonable to expect.

Credit: Battery Digest Staff Production

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