Nav: Home

Toward a low-cost industrialization of lithium-ion capacitors

June 06, 2019

Combining two additives instead of one to facilitate the incorporation of lithium within capacitors: that is the solution proposed by researchers from l'Institut des matériaux Jean Rouxel (CNRS/Université de Nantes), in collaboration with Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology (University of Münster, Germany), in order to promote the low-cost, simple, and efficient development of the lithium-ion capacitors used to store electrical energy. This research, published in Advanced Energy Materials on 5 June 2019, will enable the mass marketing of these components.

Electrochemical storage systems for electricity play a central role in the integration of renewable energy sources, and are about to take over the electro-mobility sector. There are two solutions for storing this energy: lithium-ion batteries, which have the advantage of large storage capacity, and capacitors, which have less capacity, but can charge and uncharge very rapidly a great number of times. Lithium-ion capacitors (LIC) combine the best of both worlds.

The materials that make up lithium-ion capacitors do not contain lithium ions (or electrons), unlike batteries. It is therefore necessary to proceed with a prelithiation stage in order to add them, so that the device can function. Two broad strategies are used today: either one of the capacitor's constituent materials is prelithiated before its integration, or an additive high in lithium ions will redistribute them among the capacitor's materials during the first charge. Yet these methods are costly and complex, and can diminish the device's capacity. What's more, the majority of prelithiation additives available deteriorate when in contact with the air and/or the solvents used to manufacture lithium-ion capacitors. In short, even though some of the solutions that have been proposed function today, there is no "miracle recipe" that is high-performance, sturdy, simple, and inexpensive.

Researchers from l'Institut des matériaux Jean Rouxel [1] (CNRS/Université de Nantes), in collaboration with Münster Electrochemical Energy Technology (University of Münster), met this challenge by using not just one but two additives coupled through consecutive chemical reactions. Their analysis shows that the primary barrier for earlier approaches was their use of a single additive, which had to not only provide lithium ions and electrons, but also meet all of the conditions of price, chemical stability, and performance. The use of two additives each with a specific role, with one providing lithium ions and the other electrons, offers much greater latitude, for they can be selected independently for their price, chemical properties, and performance. When a lithium-ion capacitor is charging, the first additive (pyrene, naturally present in certain types of coal) releases electrons and protons. The second additive, Li3PO4 (mass produced in the glass industry, for instance), captures these protons, and in turn releases lithium ions that are then available for prelithiation.

An additional advantage of this approach is that after prelithiation, the residue of one of the two additives used, pyrene, contributes to the storage of charges, thereby increasing the quantity of electrical energy stored in the device. The efficiency and versatility offered by this new approach opens the way for an inexpensive solution for prelithiation, resulting in lithium-ion capacitors that can store more energy. The breaking of this technological barrier should therefore enable a quicker commercialisation of these devices.
[1] Thanks to over 600,000 euros in funding from l'Agence nationale de la recherche (ANR): ICROSS project, No. 13-PRGE-0011


Related Electrons Articles:

Using light to put a twist on electrons
Method with polarized light can create and measure nonsymmetrical states in a layered material.
What if we could teach photons to behave like electrons?
The researchers tricked photons - which are intrinsically non-magnetic - into behaving like charged electrons.
Electrons in rapid motion
Researchers observe quantum interferences in real-time using a new extreme ultra-violet light spectroscopy technique.
Taming electrons with bacteria parts
In a new study, scientists at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory report a new synthetic system that could guide electron transfer over long distances.
Hot electrons harvested without tricks
Semiconductors convert energy from photons into an electron current. However, some photons carry too much energy for the material to absorb.
Cooling nanotube resonators with electrons
In a study in Nature Physics, ICFO researchers report on a technique that uses electron transport to cool a nanomechanical resonator near the quantum regime.
New method for detecting quantum states of electrons
Researchers in the Quantum Dynamics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) devised a new method -- called image charge detection -- to detect electrons' transitions to quantum states.
Slow electrons to combat cancer
Slow electons can be used to destroy cancer cells - but how exactly this happens has not been well understood.
How light steers electrons in metals
Researchers in the Department of Physics of ETH Zurich have measured how electrons in so-called transition metals get redistributed within a fraction of an optical oscillation cycle.
Twisting whirlpools of electrons
Using a novel approach, EPFL physicists have been able to create ultrafast electron vortex beams, with significant implications for fundamental physics, quantum computing, future data-storage and even certain medical treatments.
More Electrons News and Electrons Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

There's so much we've yet to explore–from outer space to the deep ocean to our own brains. This hour, Manoush goes on a journey through those uncharted places, led by TED Science Curator David Biello.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 2: Every Day is Ignaz Semmelweis Day
It began with a tweet: "EVERY DAY IS IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS DAY." Carl Zimmer – tweet author, acclaimed science writer and friend of the show – tells the story of a mysterious, deadly illness that struck 19th century Vienna, and the ill-fated hero who uncovered its cure ... and gave us our best weapon (so far) against the current global pandemic. This episode was reported and produced with help from Bethel Habte and Latif Nasser. Support Radiolab today at