New Battery Technology, Now Uses a Cosmetics Component

Innovative Breakthrough: Cosmetics Ingredient Paves the Way for Next-Gen Batteries

In a groundbreaking development reported by Nikkei Asia, a common chemical found in cosmetic products is now taking center stage in the creation of the next generation of rechargeable batteries.

Addressing challenges in the production of future batteries, including solid-state batteries and sodium-ion batteries, Japanese scientist Hiroyuki Usui from Tottori University is leveraging titanium oxide—a key component in cosmetics, soaps, and sunscreen.

Usui emphasizes, “It’s a material that offers safety, rapid recharging, and durability.” Utilizing this chemical, Usui is actively engaged in developing battery anode material, unlocking new possibilities for energy storage technologies.

Titanium Oxide: An Economic and Efficient Alternative

Titanium oxide emerges as a potential solution with economic advantages. Priced similarly to graphite, the conventional anode substance for lithium-ion batteries, at 1,000 yen ($6.70) per kilogram, it presents a cost-effective alternative. Importantly, it costs only a fraction of lithium titanium oxide, a material used in high-performance batteries.

Abundant titanium ore worldwide makes the production of titanium oxide crystals accessible, allowing the swift passage of lithium ions and electrons. Usui’s titanium oxide crystal exhibits impressive endurance, supporting tens of thousands of recharge cycles, paving the way for commercial viability. Collaborative efforts with industry partners are on the horizon to propel this lithium-ion battery innovation into practical applications.

Versatility and Future Prospects

Despite a 70% lower energy storage capacity compared to traditional graphite anodes, titanium oxide reveals its versatility. Usui’s research indicates its potential application in sodium-ion batteries and solid-state batteries, considered as prospective replacements for traditional lithium-ion batteries.

Moreover, titanium oxide eliminates the need for high-temperature sintering in the manufacturing process of solid-state batteries, ensuring enhanced performance and avoiding unintended chemical reactions. Its ability to be assembled at room temperature adds to the efficiency of the production process.

Sustainable Solutions on the Horizon

In addition to its role in lithium-ion batteries, titanium oxide showcases promise in sodium-ion batteries, offering a potential solution to supply-chain challenges associated with lithium. With sodium being abundantly available from the sea, these batteries can be a sustainable alternative.

This innovative convergence of cosmetics ingredients and battery technology opens new avenues for sustainable energy storage solutions. Stay tuned for more updates at the intersection of Chemical News, industry advancements, and the evolving landscape of chemical innovations.

Reference: TSUCHIYA, J. (2023, October 4). Next-gen battery tech taps cosmetics ingredient. Nikkei Asia. Link