The average increase in the rate of the energy density of secondary batteries has been about 3% in the past 60 years. Obviously, a great breakthrough is needed in order to increase the energy density from the current 210 Wh kg−1 of Li-ion batteries to the ambitious target of 500–700 Wh kg−1 to satisfy application in electrical vehicles. A thermodynamic calculation on the theoretical energy densities of 1172 systems is performed and energy storage mechanisms are discussed, aiming to determine the theoretical and practical limits of storing chemical energy and to screen possible systems. Among all calculated systems, the Li/F2 battery processes the highest energy density and the Li/O2 battery ranks as the second highest, theoretically about ten times higher than current Li-ion batteries. In this paper, energy densities of Li-ion batteries and a comparison of Li, Na, Mg, Al, Zn-based batteries, Li-storage capacities of the electrode materials and conversion reactions for energy storage, in addition to resource and environmental concerns, are analyzed.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Includes a collection of articles from the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOPCAS)