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4 Production and electrochemical characteristics of C/Si or C/Sn components

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38



C. Graf



material and decrease cycling stability. The stability of the delithiated phase (FePO4)

contributes to the extraordinary cycling stability of lithium iron phosphate. The diffusion-driven proliferation of the phases determines the characteristics only under

extremely high currents (> 20 C) [38] but, at high temperatures (> 50 °C), LFP exhibits better charging and discharging characteristics than the materials discussed above.

However, the poor electrical and lithium-ion conductivity is the biggest problem

of Li1–xFePO4. Smaller crystallites should reduce the distance for lithium-ion diffusion and also decrease the distance the electrons need to travel through the material.

This is why many technologies have been developed to manufacture LFP particles

in the submicron or even nanometer range. Usually, lithium iron phosphates mostly

consist of primary particles with a diameter of ~200 nm that agglomerate into secondary particles with a diameter of 5 to 10 μm. These nanoparticles make capacities

of > 100 mAh/g at high C rates (> 20 C) possible [40, 41].

Scaling down the particles compensates for the lithium-ion conductivity. However,

it does not improve electrical conductivity. Poor electrical conductivity of a cathode

material leads to poor cell performance. This is the reason why improving electrical

conductivity has become one of the key goals of research into LFP. Carbon coating,

for example, can significantly improve LFP conductivity. This technology enables

capacities of up to 165 mAh/g (97 % of the theoretical capacity) and improves the

charging and discharging properties at high currents [42]. The dependence of electrical conductivity on electrochemical characteristics makes the quality of carbon

coating very important and a co-determinant for the cathode material’s qualities.

During production, the coating also prevents the aggregation of particles and protects the cathode material from inadvertent oxidation and degradation [13].

There is no evidence that oxygen evolves in LFP compared to oxidic materials.

This is due to the strong covalent bonds within the phosphate molecule [43]. Thus,

LFP has an excellent thermal stability and is compatible with all common electrolytes [44].

In 1997, in the first publication [38], it was already shown that the olivine structure is also stable for other lithium transition metal phosphates. Incorporation of

manganese, cobalt, or nickel enables higher working voltages and higher energy

densities. Lithium manganese phosphate (LMP) Li1–xMnPO4 offers a working

voltage of 4.1 V vs. Li/Li+ [38]. This is equal to an energy density of 656 Wh/kg

with the same theoretical capacity as LFP. LMP has a flat plateau, similar to LFP. In

contrast to the spinels (LiMn2O4), the manganiferous olivines do not exhibit JahnTeller instability of the delithiated material and are extremely well cyclable [45].

But Li1–xMnPO4 possesses a weaker electrical conductivity than the iron analog,

thus requiring considerably smaller particle sizes (< 80  nm) [46]. Current developments of phosphate-based cathode materials favor mixed iron-manganese phosphates with > 60 % manganese (LFMP) [47].

For olivines, the voltage plateaus of Co3+/Co2+ and Ni3+/Ni2+ are around 4.8 V vs.

Li/Li+ [48] and 5.1  V vs. Li/Li+, respectively [49]. Most commercially available

electrolytes disintegrate from around 4.3 V, as mentioned for high-voltage spinels.

Therefore, new electrolytes need to be developed to allow the usage of 5-V olivines

in cells with graphite anodes. But, in contrast to LFP, heavy metal ions pose a health

hazard.



4  Cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries39



4.5



Comparison of cathode materials



Cathode materials are suitable for different applications with different requirements.

This is due to their specific characteristics. But the decision as to which cathode

material to use does not only depend on the electrochemical data (Table 4.1). It also

depends on the costs, the service life, and the safety characteristics (Fig. 4.7).

Table 4.1  Capacity, working voltage, and energy density of the discussed cathode materials

(typical data)

Material



Capacity/Ah kg–1



Working voltage/V



Energy density/Wh kg–1



NCA (LiCo0.85Al0.15)2



200



3.7



740



LCO (LiCoO2)



160



3.9



624



NCM (LiNi0.33Mn0.33

Co0.33O2)



160



3.7



592



LMO (LiMn2O4)



100



4.1



410



LFP (LiFePO4)



160



3.4



544



LFMP

(LiFe0.15Mn0.85PO4)



150



4.0/3.4



590



Fig. 4.7  Comparison of cathode materials pertaining to safety, specific energy, specific power,

service life, costs, and fast chargeability (based on [50])



40



C. Graf



The layered oxides are advantageous in applications where a high energy density

is of importance. Their high working voltages and resulting energy densities are

explained by the redox properties of the nickel, cobalt, and manganese ions. In

the lithosphere, these metals are very scarce, resulting in high prices on the global

market (Co: USD 26 kg–1, Ni: USD 10 kg–1, Mn: USD 1.7 kg–1, as of August 2016).

Iron is the second most common element on Earth and, even when compared with

manganese, extremely inexpensive (USD 0.057/kg–1). (Source: www.InfoMine.

com) Thus, LFP is the cheapest possibility for producing 1 kg of cathode material.

Due to its lower energy density in comparison with NCM and NCA, this advantage

is less pronounced.

Oxides pose a safety risk, as they can trigger the evolution of oxygen, thus causing

a fire or even an explosion of the cell. There is virtually no risk of this occurring

for LFP due to its intrinsic characteristics. LFP shows no thermal effects up to

300 °C as opposed to other cathode materials. Almost all oxidic cathode ­materials,

however, exhibit strong exothermal effects. Furthermore, LFP and LFMP are nontoxic and non-hazardous to the environment, as is LMO. This is not the case for

heavy metal-containing oxidic compounds.

Lithium diffusion is possible in one direction with LFP, while the other mater­ials

have two-dimensional, if not even three-dimensional, lithium diffusion paths. Nevertheless, LFP is the only cathode material that can be quickly charged and discharged.

It has not yet reached the high energy (Wh/kg) and power densities (W/kg) of oxidic

cathode materials. These values can be increased by 20 % in relation to LFP by using

manganese (LFMP). Nevertheless, at this stage, LFP is a safe and resilient cathode

material for usage in stationary and (plug-in) HEV applications.

Oxides have been a focal point of research and development since the Eighties.

They have been modified many times, resulting in materials that can be produced

on a large scale and are commercially successful. The development of the relatively

“young” phosphate-based cathode materials is still in its infancy. It is possible to

achieve higher working voltages with higher energy densities by substituting manganese, cobalt, or nickel for iron. This makes phosphate-based compounds very

promising cathode materials for future high-voltage applications.



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4  Cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries41

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50. Geoffroy D (2012) Phosphates



5



Anode materials for lithium-ion batteries

Călin Wurm, Oswin Oettinger, Stephan Wittkaemper,

Robert Zauter, and Kai Vuorilehto



Contents

5.1 Anode active materials – introduction������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 44

5.2Production and structure of amorphous carbons and graphite ���������������������������������������� 45

5.3 Lithium intercalation in graphite and amorphous carbons���������������������������������������������� 47

5.4Production and electrochemical characteristics of C/Si or C/Sn components ���������������� 52

5.5 Lithium titanate as anode material ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 53

5.6 Anode active materials – outlook ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 54

5.7 Copper as conductor at the negative electrode ���������������������������������������������������������������� 55

5.7.1 Requirements for the copper foil ������������������������������������������������������������������������ 55

5.7.2Comparison of RA copper foil with electrolytically produced copper foil �������� 56

5.7.3 Substitution of aluminum for copper? ���������������������������������������������������������������� 57

Bibliography������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 57



C. Wurm (*)

Robert Bosch Battery Systems GmbH, Heilbronner Strasse 358-360,

70469 Stuttgart, Germany

e-mail: calin.wurm@de.bosch.com

O. Oettinger

SGL Carbon GmbH, Werner-von-Siemens-Strasse 18, 86405 Meitingen, Germany

e-mail: oswin.oettinger@sglgroup.com

S. Wittkaemper

GTS Flexible Materials GmbH, Hagener Strasse 113, 57072 Siegen, Germany

e-mail: stephanwittkaemper@gts-flexible.de

R. Zauter

Wieland-Werke AG, Graf-Arco-Strasse 36, 89079 Ulm, Germany

e-mail: robert.zauter@wieland.com

K. Vuorilehto

Aalto University Helsinki, Kemistintie 1, 02150 Espoo, Finland

e-mail: kai.vuorilehto@helsinki.fi

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

R. Korthauer (ed.), Lithium-Ion Batteries: Basics and Applications,

https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-53071-9_5



43



44



C. Wurm et al.



5.1



Anode active materials – introduction



Secondary lithium cells initially had a metallic lithium foil as an anode (negative

electrode) [1]. Pure lithium has a very high specific capacity (3,860 mAh/g) and a

very negative potential, resulting in very high cell voltage. However, cycling efficiency decreases as lithium dissolves repeatedly while the cell is discharging and

lithium is deposited as it is charging. This means that two or three times the normal

amount of lithium must be used. In addition, lithium can be deposited as foam and

as dendrites. The latter might grow through the separator [2, 3]. These dendrites can

cause local short circuits, which might result in the cell completely self-discharging

or, in the worst case, lead to an internal thermal chain reaction, fire, or explosion.

Today, only small cells (especially button cells) are mass-produced. They meet

low requirements in regard to cycling stability and fast chargeability with lithium

metal anodes. Recently, however, trials with high-capacity cells have been resumed.

Special separators (cf. Bolloré [4]) are used in these trials. The most important issues

for these LMP (lithium metal polymer) cells are still safety and cycling stability.

To produce safe cells with a good cycling efficiency, lithium metal is replaced by

a so-called lithium intercalation material [5–8]. Generally, the intercalation process,

e.g., in carbon, is a reversible and loss-free process, and lithium plating does not

occur [9, 10]. The lithium-ion cell of the typical 3C market (portable consumer

applications) is equipped with anodes made of graphite. There is an increasing

focus on amorphous carbons (hard carbons and soft carbons) in the new applications with higher power and energy density as well as improved safety. In part, they



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Fig. 5.1  Specific capacity and potential vs. Li/Li+ of the most important anode materials

[according to 11]



5  Anode materials for lithium-ion batteries45



exhibit a better current capability and are safer and more stable in combination with

novel electrolytes and cathode materials.

Their lithium storage capacity is much higher than that of graphite thanks to the

usage of metals and alloys (intermetallic compounds) that can reversibly react with

lithium. Metal-based systems are not yet being mass-produced in spite of intensive

R&D efforts. So there is still a substantial need for research. Even if adding carbons

(e.g., C/Si composite, C/Sn composite) enables improvement, cycling stability

remains insufficient. Lithium titanate and titanium oxide are promising as anode

active materials for improving cycling stability and meet extraordinarily high power

and safety requirements. However, the specific capacity of these materials is very

low and the potential vs. lithium is very high (Fig. 5.1).

The electrochemical characteristics of these materials play an important role. In

addition, good processability (rheology characteristics, adhesion on metal foils,

etc.) is a must during electrode production. Fig. 5.1 provides an overview of the

specific capacity and the potential for the most important anode materials [11].

The following sections will provide information on the different anode materials.



5.2Production and structure of amorphous

carbons and graphite

Amorphous carbon (hard and soft carbons) and graphite both occur naturally, and

synthetic synthesis of both is possible. A typical representative of naturally occurring amorphous carbon is anthracite. Naturally occurring graphite is called natural

graphite. The largest natural graphite deposits are in Asia, mainly in China, but also

in India and North Korea. In the Western hemisphere, natural graphite is mainly

mined in Brazil and Canada. It is assumed that ca. 70 to 80 % of all natural graphite

is deposited in China. For this reason, the European Union Raw Materials Initiative

included natural graphite in its list of 14 critical raw materials in 2010. Natural

graphite needs to be separated from the lode matter to make it utilizable for battery

applications. It also needs to be purified chemically, thermally, and/or both.

The starting materials for synthesized amorphous carbon and graphite are usually

byproducts of the coal and petroleum industry. In the latter, the most common ma­

terials are petroleum coke and resins with a high content of aromatic compounds,

e.g., phenolic resins. In the coal industry, coal tar pitch and high-isotropic coke are

the most important raw materials. The starting materials are carbonized or calcined

at low temperatures (800 °C to 1,200 °C). The first product is amorphous carbon. If

the carbonized starting material (e.g., furan resin or phenolic resin) remains amorphous during the subsequent heat treatment up to 3,000 °C, it is called hard or

­non-graphitizable carbon. If the carbonized starting material (e.g., coke or pitch)

transforms into graphite above 2,500 °C, it is called soft or graphitizable carbon.

Fig. 5.2 provides an overview of the typical production process of synthetic

graphite. The main raw materials are calcined coke as solid material and coal tar

pitch as binder. The solid materials are preprocessed (ground, sieved, screened, and

classified). The material is then mixed with molten, liquid binder pitch to produce



46



C. Wurm et al.

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Fig. 5.2  Schematic diagram of synthetic graphite production



a plasticized “green” mass, which subsequently is shaped by extrusion or compression molding, for example.

The solidified green body is then fired at 800 °C to 1,200 °C in the absence

of oxygen. The pitch carbonizes, creating amorphous carbon as binder phase. To

transform amorphous carbon into synthetic graphite, the body is introduced into the

so-called packing material and treated at > 2,500 °C. Contemporary graphitization

technologies date back to Acheson or Castner [12, 13] and were invented at the

end of the 19th century. The typical amount of electricity needed to produce 1 kg

graphite in the Acheson furnace is 3 to 4 kWh and the required time in the furnace is

around three weeks. The high temperatures cause the contamination to escape from

the graphite, and the typical graphite layer structure develops (Figs. 5.3a and b).

Graphite is one of the best-known carbon allotropes. It is made of parallelly stacked graphene layers. Graphene is a hexagonal lattice of sp2-hybridized

carbon atoms. The widespread hexagonal form of graphite has the stack sequence

ABABAB (Fig.  5.3b). The distance between the graphene layers is 0.3354  nm.

The rhombohedral graphite modification with the stack sequence ABCABC is of

lesser importance; its percentage can reach 20 % during forming processes such

as graphite grinding. It is possible to reduce this rhombohedral ratio again with

a high-temperature treatment [15]. The crystallographic density of both graphite

forms is 2.26 g/cm3.

Many times, additional finishing processes are employed depending on the application to use graphite optimally as an active material (Fig. 5.4). The final particle

size and shape are modified after graphite grinding (Fig. 5.4a). This ensures that the

specific surface area is as small and the surface morphology as smooth as possible



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