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Dual Functional Cathode Additives for Battery Technologies

Brookhaven National Laboratory

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Schematic demonstrating the cell reactions of an anode less lithium-sulfur cell with a dual functional cathode additive (here a metal sulfide cathode additive).

Schematic demonstrating the cell reactions of an anode less lithium-sulfur cell with a dual functional cathode additive (here a metal sulfide cathode additive).

Technology Marketing Summary

Lithium ion batteries are currently the most widely used power sources for consumer electronics, including laptops, tablets, and smart phones. Unlike these applications, where weight is the primary concern, for larger applications, such as for example electric vehicles, power density plays an important role. The batteries must be able to charge and discharge quickly as they react to sudden changes in load during actual driving conditions. Currently the cost of Li-ion batteries makes their unsubsidized use in electric vehicles infeasible. A lithium-sulfur electrochemical couple system has the potential to lower the material cost due to the abundance of sulfur in nature and at the same time boost the energy density of the cell system due to the use of lithium metal to replace graphite in current benchmark Li-ion batteries. This invention proposes a primary metal sulfide additive containing lithium and a secondary metal sulfide additive for use in high energy density batteries or rechargeable batteries, including lithium-sulfur (Li-S), sodium-sulfur (Na-S), and Li-ion batteries.

Description

A post-activation anode and a cathode containing a conducting metal sulfide may be formed following activation of the cell of a lithium battery having a primary metal sulfide additive containing lithium, and secondary metal sulfide additives. The primary metal sulfide additive may provide excess lithium to the cathode and may compensate for lithium lost during the formation of a solid electrolyte interface upon contact between the deposited lithium and the electrolyte at the anode.

Benefits

Since lithium metal is a very reactive material in humidity and air, special environmental controls are needed for material processing, which increases the cost associated with the lithium metal anode battery manufacturing. The anodeless cell design concept effectively eliminates the use of lithium metal in the cell manufacturing process steps, helping to maintain low manufacturing cost. In such a case, the cathode supplies all lithium in the cell system during the cell activation.

Applications and Industries

The dual functional cathode additive can be used in any secondary battery system, including Li-S, Na-S, and Li-ion batteries. It is especially useful for high energy density batteries.

More Information

PCT filed on February 18, 2015

Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
BSA 14-16PrototypeAvailable03/30/201503/30/2015

Contact BNL About This Technology

To: Avijit Sen<Asen@bnl.gov>