Legendary Li-ion battery boffin John Goodenough to develop gel power packs with South Korea's SK Innovation

Won't degrade. Won't catch fire. Will be a fine fit for electric vehicles


South Korean battery-maker SK Innovation will team up with 2019 Nobel Prize-winner John Goodenough to develop a new solid-state gel battery.

Goodenough is best known as part of the team of scientists that invented the rechargable lithium-ion battery during the 70s and 80s. The team, which also included British-American chemist M Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino of Japan, were awarded last year's Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work.

SK Innovation reckons that the new battery, which will use a solid-state gel-polymer electrolyte, will be safer and store more energy than lithium-ion batteries.

One problem with li-ion batteries is that they produce dendrites, tiny metal whiskers that grow on the anodes of lithium-ion batteries. These can pass through the liquid electrolyte and shorten the life of the battery, or, in some cases, cause short-circuits that lead to fires.

Li-ion batteries also have lower energy density compared to solid-state solutions. This could have a big impact when it comes to EVs, which need energy-dense batteries to extend their driving range, as well as to how long phone batteries last.

Goodenough's new battery will not produce dendrites, which should put out future fires. It will also be more energy dense, as well as smaller and lighter, suiting it to use in electric vehicles.

"The goal is to develop a microporous polymer matrix with weakly-coordinating-anion system that can be applied to larger, more powerful cells," SK Innovation said in a statement.

Goodenough, who just turned 98, is also developing a glass battery that he claims grows in storage capacity over time. Hydro-Quebec, Canada's largest electricity producer, hopes to commercialise the tech within two years.

SK Innovation is the R&D arm of South Korea's SK Group, which also owns memory-maker SK Hynix. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021