Diminish the Lithium-use batteries through a newly discovered material by AI

The two organizations, Microsoft and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), part of the US Department of Energy, have tracked down the new substance that could result in less lithium use in batteries by 70%. All this was possible with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Supercomputing. Explore more about the new substance, the cons of Lithium, and experts’ views on the same;

The Detrimental side of Lithium.

Lithium carries a silvery color of nature, often referred to as “White Gold.” The rechargeable batteries carry Lithium that provides energy, including smartphones, EVs (Electric Vehicles), etc. As per reports from the International Energy Agency, the world will experience a shortage of lithium from 2025 as it is used widely;

  • Extracting metals requires a lot of water and energy that, in short, depletes the natural resources.

  • Lithium-ion batteries and higher temperatures always run parallel. From EVs to smartphones, once they are overheated, can become explosive or catch fire. 

  • Despite being a budgetary product, it does not have a long-lasting efficiency, it depletes periodically. 

  • As per the US Department for Energy, the use of lithium-ion batteries will increase tenfold by 2030. Thus, the need of the hour was to introduce a substitute for Lithium in batteries. 

What is a newly discovered substance?

Currently, the new AI-derived substance is referred to as N2116, a solid-state electrolyte that tends to reduce Lithium use in batteries by 70%. As per experts, it is a sustainable energy storage way forward as they are solid in nature. 

However, some remarks are made: 

Dr Nuria Tapia-Ruiz (who leads a team of battery researchers at the chemistry department at Imperial College London) claims any discovery (that diminishes the use of Lithium) in the concerned field is like the “Holy grail.” 

While, Dr Edward Brightman (a lecturer in Chemical Engineering) says that technology needs to be “treated with a bit of caution.”

Can we rely on Artificial Intelligence?

Jason Zander remarks that their objective was to "compress 250 years of scientific discovery into the next 25, And we think technology like this will help us do that. This is the way that this type of science, I think, is going to get done in the future.” 

In this light, another statement comes from Mr. Zander:

“This AI is all based on scientific materials, databases, and properties.” 

All of these remarks display the essentiality of AI in industry. Persistent research via AI can contribute to achieving the net zero emission targets. 


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