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Production of Li-ion Batteries with Silicon-based Anode and Li-rich Cathode

Technology Overview

Lithium ion batteries, which are the most widely used among the secondary battery types, have high capacities and cycling life. The theoretical capacity of lithium ion batteries is expected to remain at the same value in each cycle without changing the ingredients. However, this does not take place as expected and lithium ions in the battery can be produced or consumed by side reactions during charging/discharging. When the capacity stability of the battery deteriorates, there is a loss of capacity and a significant decrease in the performance of the battery occurs in long cycles. Anode and cathode materials of the batteries directly affect the capacity and cycle life. Therefore, it is very important to improve the anode and cathode materials in order to maintain stability and improve battery performance.

The technology described herein is related to the development of high capacity lithium ion batteries based on silicon-based anode and lithium rich cathode materials. The anode is a silicon-based material that contains a conductive polymer additive. Polymer-Si is a porous material with a flexible shell structure, thus preventing the volumetric expansion of silicon. The cathode has been developed in special stoichiometry to maximize capacity, thermal stability and capacity retention rate. The technology provider is seeking industry partners to test-bed and commercialize the patent-pending technology. 

Technology Features & Specifications

The lithium rich cathode material consists of lithium as well as transition metal layers such as Ni, Co and Mn, and incorporates the beneficial effects of these metals. Nickel increases capacity and Mn increases thermal stability while cobalt improves the capacity retention rate performance of the battery. Apart from this, doping of metals such as Al, Zn, Nb, Mg, Fe etc. is increased to performance. In addition, the lithium Van der Waals are placed in the gaps and the material has a performance exceeding 280 mAh/g capacity. The nominal voltage is ~4.2 V. The method used to synthesize Li-rich cathode material directly affects the morphology and particle size of the material.

In order to achieve high current values, the lithium retention ratio of the anode material should be good. Silicon is seen as a good anode material with a theoretical capacity of 4200 mAh/g. However, it is not used commercially due to volumetric expansion (>300%) problem. However, the volumetric expansion of the silicon-based anode was prevented by special polymer additives. Our anodes have become capable of commercialization.

Potential Applications

Lithium ion batteries are widely used in smart devices, laptops, tablets etc. in portable devices, smart home systems, and electrical vehicles. With rapid technology development in electronic components and henceforth performance of electronic equipment, there is a high expectation on the power demand for these equipment. While the performance and speed of smart phones increase day by day, the expected breakthrough in the battery sector has not been realized. Lithium-ion batteries require higher capacity batteries to keep up with this technology. Electric vehicles, another application in which lithium-ion batteries are used, have longest range on a single charging depending on the capacity of the batteries. Lithium ion battery developed with lithium rich cathode and silicon based anode material is promising from the point of the performance of electric vehicles with higher capacity and cycling life than existing lithium-ion batteries.

Market Trends and Opportunities

The global lithium-ion battery market reached a value of more than US$ 25 Billion in 2017, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 25% during 2010-2016. LCO cathodes are used in mobile phones and laptops, but they are insufficient for electric vehicle applications. Lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) and lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (NCA) materials are widely used in electric vehicles. However, with the growth of the electric vehicle market, cathode materials with higher capacity are needed. NMC battery was the prominent segment and accounted for 26% of the global share in 2016. 

Lithium rich cathode materials have higher capacity and cycling life than other cathode materials, but have not yet been commercialized. Efforts are underway to increase the stability of these materials. The subject of these works is related to a more stable lithium rich cathode material, which may be commercialized. Lithium rich cathodes are expected to replace other materials due to their superior properties in the near future.

The silicon anode battery market is estimated to reach USD 1,018.3 Million by 2022, at a CAGR of 43.4% from 2016 to 2022. Factors driving the silicon anode battery market include increasing demand for improved energy storage and longer life of batteries, growing demand for eco-friendly and non-petroleum vehicles, and R&D initiatives to design high energy density and superior power capability in batteries (Markets and Markets).

Customer Benefits

Compared with existing lithium ion battery, the potential customer benefit for this technology include the following:

  • High battery capacity
  • Higher battery lifecycle
  • Higher battery efficiency

 

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