Autogenic pressure reactors provide simple, rapid means of producing battery materials
Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of producing battery materials, Argonne researchers have developed a rapid technique that uses an autogenic pressure reactor for material synthesis.Description
This type of reactor produces self-generating reactions that occur within an enclosed vessel, typically at high pressure and temperature. The Argonne-developed method makes use of an autogenic pressure reactor in which one or more, dry, solvent-free chemical precursor powders are dissociated and reacted in the chamber. The reactor is designed to operate up to a maximum pressure of about 2,000 pounds per square inch and a maximum temperature of about 800°C. Reaction parameters, such as heating rate, temperature, time, reactant concentration, stoichiometry, pressure, and atmosphere, can be controlled to fabricate a wide range of electrode materials.
Additionally, the autogenic pressure reactor method can be used to produce a variety of unique core-shell electrode materials, as well as carbon spheres, carbon nanotubes, and carbon coatings. This innovative technique provides an economic, simple, and reproducible single-step process for producing solvent- and catalyst-free battery materials.Benefits
- Rapid, low energy processing
- Simple, single-step process
- Produces pure products (solvent- and catalyst-free)
- Transportation applications, such as electric and hybrid-electric vehicles
- Portable electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers
- Medical devices
- Space, aeronautical, and defense-related devices
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AUTOGENIC PRESSURE REACTIONS FOR BATTERY MATERIALS MANUFACTURE
A lithium- or lithium-ion electrochemical cell of the present invention comprises a lithium-containing cathode, an anode, and a non-aqueous lithium-containing electrolyte therebetween; wherein one or more of the anode and the cathode comprises at least one particulate carbon-containing material selected from the group consisting of one or more carbon-coated metal oxide or metal phosphate particles, carbon-containing metals that alloy with Li, carbon-containing metalloids that alloy with Li, or rounded carbon particles such as carbon spheres, prolate-shaped spheroids, oblate-shaped spheroids, and carbon nanotubes. In a preferred embodiment, the particulate carbon material is prepared by reacting one or more solid, solvent-free chemical precursor materials comprising the elements making up the material in an enclosed autogenic pressure reactor in which the precursor materials are dissociated and reacted at elevated temperature, thereby creating self-generated pressure within the reactor.
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