Greener, Cheaper, and Charging Faster – A New Way To Manufacture Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes

Greener, Cheaper, and Charging Faster – A New Way To Manufacture Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes

A crew at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, led by Yan Wang, has developed a solvent-free, cost-effective course of for producing lithium-ion battery electrodes that cost sooner than these presently available on the market.

New manufacturing method tackles a key impediment confronting the electrical automobile sector.

A analysis group led by Yan Wang, a researcher from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has pioneered a solvent-free methodology for the manufacturing of lithium-ion battery electrodes. This novel method yields greener, less expensive, and quicker-charging electrodes in comparison with these presently accessible, probably revolutionizing battery manufacturing for electrical autos.

The crew unveiled a dry-print manufacturing method within the journal Joule, which circumvents using dangerous solvents and in depth drying intervals inherent in conventional electrode manufacturing strategies that make the most of slurries. Wang, holding the place of WPI William B. Smith Dean’s Professor within the Division of Mechanical and Supplies Engineering, acknowledged that this revolutionary course of is scalable and will probably lower electrode manufacturing bills by as a lot as 15%. Furthermore, the electrodes produced by means of this technique can cost at a sooner price than these created utilizing standard strategies.

“Present lithium-ion batteries cost too slowly, and producers usually use flammable, poisonous, and costly solvents that improve the time and price of manufacturing,” Wang stated. “Our solvent-free manufacturing course of addresses these disadvantages by producing electrodes that cost to 78 p.c of capability in 20 minutes, all with out the necessity for solvents, slurries, and lengthy manufacturing occasions.”

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Yan Wang

Worcester Polytechnic Institute researcher Yan Wang. Credit score: Matt Burgos

Industrial lithium-ion battery electrodes are usually made by mixing energetic supplies, conductive components, polymers, and natural solvents to create a slurry that’s pasted onto a steel substrate, dried in an oven, and minimize into items to be used in batteries. The solvents are recovered by means of distillation.

The researchers’ course of, in distinction, concerned mixing collectively dry powders that had been electrically charged so they might adhere when sprayed onto a steel substrate. The dry-coated electrodes had been then heated and compressed with rollers. Skipping the standard drying and solvent-recovery course of minimize battery manufacturing vitality use by an estimated 47 p.c, the researchers reported.

Reference: “Roll-to-roll solvent-free manufactured electrodes for fast-charging batteries” by Yangtao Liu, Xiangtao Gong, Chinmoy Podder, Fan Wang, Zeyuan Li, Jianzhao Liu, Jinzhao Fu, Xiaotu Ma, Panawan Vanaphuti, Rui Wang, Andrew Hitt, Yavuz Savsatli, Zhenzhen Yang, Mingyuan Ge, Wah-Keat Lee, Bryan Yonemoto, Ming Tang, Heng Pan and Yan Wang, 10 Might 2023, Joule.
DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2023.04.006

Wang has lengthy been targeted on enhancing lithium-ion batteries and decreasing the waste they create. He co-founded Ascend Components, an organization that’s growing battery recycling applied sciences. Wang’s electrode manufacturing work has been funded by the Division of Power with the US Superior Battery Consortium LLC and the Massachusetts Clear Power Heart. Collaborators on the venture included Yangtao Liu ’22 (Ph.D.), graduate scholar Jinzhao Fu, Assistant Analysis Professor Xiaotu Ma, Panawan Vanaphuti ’22 (Ph.D.), and Rui Wang ’23 (Ph.D.), all of WPI; and researchers at Texas A&M College, Rice College, Microvast Inc., Argonne Nationwide Laboratory, and Brookhaven Nationwide Laboratory.

WPI has filed a patent utility on the manufacturing know-how developed by Wang’s crew. As well as, Wang and one in every of his collaborators, Heng Pan of Texas A&M College, co-founded AM Batteries Inc., a venture-backed firm that’s working with Amperex Expertise Restricted (ATL) and different firms to scale up solvent-free electrode manufacturing.

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