AI comes up with battery design that uses 70 per cent less lithium
An artificial intelligence (AI) program developed a novel battery design that significantly reduces lithium usage without compromising performance. Conventional batteries typically use lithium cobalt oxide in the cathode, but due to concerns about cobalt's scarcity and ethical sourcing issues, there's a need for alternative materials. The AI searched for suitable materials and configurations, eventually leading to the creation of a new cathode composed of 70% less lithium than standard batteries, by substituting lithium with more abundant and less costly elements like manganese. Interestingly, the AI-designed batteries did not show a drop in energy storage capacity or power. This suggests the design could maintain the high standards required for consumer electronics and electric vehicles. Advancements in AI and machine learning enable quicker discovery of new materials and chemical compositions suitable for high-performance batteries; this could be essential for sustainable development. The new cathode material's potential to reduce reliance on lithium and cobalt could address resource scarcity and ethical concerns linked to mining these elements. This development marks a significant step towards environmentally friendly energy storage solutions and highlights the powerful role AI can play in innovation within the energy sector.