This technology relates to a lithium-ion battery with an improved electrode with automatic shutdown function. The technology owner has developed a method to generate a 3D printing ink to deposit a layer of thermal sensitive polymer, which can be implemented into the traditional battery production process to solve the thermal failure of the lithium ion battery. The technology owner is looking for potential licensees to commercialise this technology.
The lithium ion battery comprises a first electrode with a second electrode, and a shutdown polymer additive being provided on an outer surface of the first electrode. The shutdown polymer additive comprises at least two polyethylene (PE) layers, each PE layer comprising a plurality of PE microspheres. Each PE microsphere is wrapped with carbon nanotubes (CNT). The PE microspheres interconnect with each other such that the carbon nanotubes form a conductive network. The PE layers are provided at predetermined areas of the outer surface of the first electrode. In the testing process, the battery can function as a normal battery. When the working temperature is above 90 degree, the temperature sensitive polymer will melt within 60 seconds. The polymer will block the pores of the electrode and the battery will stop charging and discharging.
The advantages of this technology are:
Global lithium ion battery market is valued about USD 43.4 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to grow steadily at more than 16% from 2020-2026. The lithium ion battery is the leading choice of electrical energy storage for small portable devices and it has a great potential for large-scale implementation in electric vehicles. However, safety of the lithium ion battery is a key concern.
The lithium ion battery is susceptible to thermal failure, which can be triggered by overheating, overcharging, or short-circuiting of the battery. Though commercial lithium-ion batteries include several safety mechanisms, the internal shutdown separators are prone to shrinkage, resulting in short-circuiting of the electrodes, and the external safety devices may not be able to respond in time to thermal runaway events, which can occur as soon as a minute, after a short circuit of the battery.