Dual-Carbon Battery: Same Energy Density, Safer, Longer Life Than Lithium-Ion, Says Power Japan Plus

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In the search for better electric-car batteries, lots of lab research has to happen before anything can be announced.

Today, a company called Power Japan Plus came out of stealth mode to unveil a new battery chemistry, with both electrodes--anode and cathode--made of carbon.

The new cell, known as the Ryden Dual-Carbon Battery, promises energy density equal to today's lithium-ion cells, but less capacity loss over time and far greater safety.

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Power Japan Plus - Dual-Carbon Battery vs Lithium-Ion Battery

Power Japan Plus - Dual-Carbon Battery vs Lithium-Ion Battery

Same energy, longer life, safer, recyclable

It is also almost entirely recyclable, with less energy input over its lifetime--and none of the rare or heavy metals required in various lithium-ion cell chemistries.

Dual-carbon cells have been described in theory since at least 1978, but years of development were required to make them reliable, cost-effective, and suitable for mass production in high volumes, Power Japan Plus CEO Dou Kani told Green Car Reports.

The breakthroughs in chemistry were achieved by chief technology officer Kaname Takeya and Dr. Tatsumi Ishihara of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, which partnered with the company to develop the cell for commercial applications.

While they cannot provide details due to multiple pending patents, Takeya said that the chemistry requires specific and proprietary changes to the nanostructure of the carbon crystals.

While Power Japan cannot disclose its first customer today, CEO Kani said, it will announce a partner in August, that will build battery packs and add a battery-management system.

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Power Japan Plus - energy capacity over cycle life

Power Japan Plus - energy capacity over cycle life

What electric cars need to succeed?

The company isn't holding back the hyperbole.

“The Ryden dual-carbon battery is the energy storage breakthrough needed," said CEO Kani, "to bring green technology like electric vehicles to [the] mass market.”

With energy density comparable to lithium-ion, the company claims that its Ryden dual-carbon chemistry can both recharge up to 20 times as fast and deliver more than 4 Volts of power from a single cell.

In testing, the cell has completed more than 3,000 charge/discharge cycles with virtually no performance degradation, meaning that it could conceivably last the lifetime of a car.

Power Japan says a Ryden cell barely heats up during charge and discharge--it "experiences minimal thermal change"--vastly reducing the risk of thermal runaway that can lead to explosion and fires.

Power Japan Plus - energy capacity over cycle life

Power Japan Plus - energy capacity over cycle life

In other words, an electric car's battery would hold its full energy over 10 years or more, and could be discharged right down to 0 percent of capacity without damage.

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New chemistry, same production process

And equally important for practicality, the new dual-carbon anode and cathode can both be produced by existing cell manufacturing processes--and require essentially just a single material as input: carbon.

That reduces the number of materials that must be procured for the supply chain, simplifying the entire production process.

Power Japan Plus says it will start production of Ryden cells in the 18650 "commodity cell" format later this year at its small production facility in Okinawa, Japan.

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