I D
× COMMENTARYCOVER STORYIN THE NEWSNEWSFRONTSCHEMENTATOR + Show More
Chementator Briefs
Caprolactam Genomatica (San Diego, Calif.; www.genomatica.com) recently announced the production…
BUSINESS NEWSTECHNICAL & PRACTICALFEATURE REPORTFACTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPSTECHNOLOGY PROFILESOLIDS PROCESSINGEQUIPMENT & SERVICESFOCUSNEW PRODUCTS + Show More

Comment

Self-healing, recyclable solid electrolytes for Li-ion batteries

By Scott Jenkins |

Energy-storage researchers have been in search of safer electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries, because of persistent concerns over possible overheating and fires resulting from dendrite formation in the anode. Solid polymer electrolytes have been explored to address these issues, but achieving the desired properties of safety and conductivity is challenging. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (https://illinois.edu) have developed a new solid battery electrolyte material capable of self-healing behavior that could make Li-ion batteries safer by suppressing dendrite formation. The material has the added benefit of being easily recyclable.

The research team, led by Chris Evans, developed dynamic polymer networks capable of exchanging covalent crosslinks and examined the material’s ability to conduct Li cations. The bond exchange allows the material to self-heal when damaged, a property that could help withstand the formation of dendrites and prevent safety hazards.

The solid electrolyte material consists of a poly (ethylene oxide) scaffold containing boronic ester crosslinks, and a lithium salt — lithium bis (trifluoromethanesulfonyl) imide; LiTFSI — as a source of Li cations (diagram). Evans says the choice of boronic esters allows the electrolyte material to dissolve in water, enabling it to be readily recycled.

While investigating the conductivities of the dynamic polymer network, the researchers found that they are not quite as high as those seen in liquid electrolytes, but Evans says the new materials perform as well as most other solvent-free polymer-based electrolytes.

The Illinois research group envisions the dynamic network technology as a platform, in which different chemistries could be employed for the dynamic bonds and different mechanical properties and conductivities could be possible. They are now focused on evaluating a broader range of bonds and operating conditions to determine the ultimate potential of the new electrolyte material, Evans says.

solid electrolytes

Related Content

Chemical Engineering publishes FREE eletters that bring our original content to our readers in an easily accessible email format about once a week.
Subscribe Now
Improving chemical production processes with IIoT and AI technologies
New filtration technology for highly corrosive media
PTA production: Lowering OPEX without compromising on quality
Sure that zero means zero in your zero-liquid discharge (ZLD) process?
How separation processes profit from Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions

View More