Graphene based support matrix to anchor bifunctional catalyst for Lithium-Air batteries

Case ID:

WSU researchers have developed a novel process to produce highly stable, conductive, and high surface area graphene based matrix for bifunctional catalysts for air cathodes. Given the promising stability and enhanced conductivity of the graphene matrix, the WSU researchers propose to incorporate bifunctional catalysts into a graphene matrix. Currently, there are no Lithium-air batteries commercially available. This breakthrough can lead to improvements in the capacity and cycle life of Lithium-air batteries, creating the next generation battery systems for electric drive vehicles.


The major technical hurdle for the complete electrification of road transportation is the insufficient storage capacity of current battery technology, severely limiting the range of practical electric drive vehicles.  While advances in Lithium-ion batteries  can extend the range slightly, there is little hope that even the gravimetric densities of these future batteries will be sufficient to allow ranges for a majority of current daily driving habits.  The Lithium-air battery has the potential to provide much higher gravimetric energy storage density compared to all other battery chemistries.  This has led to a strong interest in whether such batteries could be developed for powering EVs, enabling driving ranges comparable to gasoline powered automobiles.  The major technical drawback of current Lithium–air batteries is the poor rechargeability, which results in limited cycle life.  The use of graphene based support matrix for bifunctional catalysts can overcome the rechargeability issue of current Lithium-air batteries.

Commercial Applications:

·         Commercial production of Lithium-air batteries for electric drive vehicles

Technological Advantages:

·         High stability during discharge

·         High conductivity-unlike conventional support material, graphene does not require additional methods to increase conductivity

·         Incorporation of a variety of bifunctional catalysts

·         Improvements in the capacity and cycle life of lithium-air batteries

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Nic Wetzler
Wayne State University
Kapila Wadumesthrige
Ka Yuen Simon Ng
Steven Salley