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Integrated Computational-Experimental Development of Lithium-Air Batteries for Electric AircraftThe primary obstacle to enable NASA's vision of Green Aviation is the extraordinary energy storage requirements for electric aircraft. Significant advances in high energy, rechargeable, safe batteries are required to enable electric aviation. Boeing's SUGAR and NASA studies have identified 400 Wh/kg as the threshold energy density for general aviation and 750 Wh/kg for commercial regional air service. State of the Art Lithium Ion Battery (LIB) technology currently has a density of 200 Wh/kg and is expected to plateau at 300 Wh/kg due to fundamental chemistry limitations making it unsuitable for future electric aircraft. Additional demanding requirements include high power, rechargeability, and high safety. Such battery technology does not currently exist. The recent considerable activity in battery research (DOE, Tesla Gigafactory, etc) overwhelmingly has been geared towards reducing cost and improving safety of LIB technology in order to promote the adoption of electric automobiles; and thus it is expected to have little impact on electric aviation development. New battery materials will be needed for the "Beyond Li Ion" (BLI) technologies required for high energy, safe electric aviation. Li-Air batteries have the highest known theoretical energy density (3400 Wh/kg) and therefore and if realized promises to transform the global transportation system. These high energy batteries have the potential to meet the energy storage challenges of current and future NASA aeronautics and space missions in addition to many terrestrial transportation applications as well. However, this technology requires significant components development and integration, as it is currently unable to achieve aircraft requirements. The objective of this project is to leverage modern computational materials methods combined with battery multiphysics tools to develop radically advanced compatible cathode and electrolyte materials, build several Li-Air cells, and flight-demonstrate the corresponding Li-Air battery packs. A significant problem for current Lithium-Air batteries is large scale decomposition of the battery electrolyte during operation leading to battery failure after a handful of charge/discharge cycles. Therefore, development of large scale, ultra-high energy, rechargeable, and safe Lithium-Air batteries require highly stable electrolytes that are resistant to decomposition under operating conditions. A NASA-based cross-organizational "dream team" of high-powered experts combined integrated supercomputer modeling, fundamental chemistry analysis, advanced material science, and battery cell development to tackle this very challenging, multidisciplinary problem. The ultimate goal for the team is to develop an integrated experimental/computational infrastructure to produce a reliable predictive capability for the selection of optimal components, their fabrication parameters, and "design rules" of novel cell components for advanced ultra-high energy batteries that can meet energy storage challenges of NASA missions and many terrestrial transportation applications.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Lvovich, Vadim
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Lawson, John
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
February 9, 2019
Publication Date
September 1, 2018
Subject Category
Chemistry And Materials (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Annual Meeting of International Society of Electrochemistry
Location: Bologna
Country: Italy
Start Date: September 2, 2018
End Date: September 7, 2018
Sponsors: International Society of Electrochemistry
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 533127.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Li-air battery
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