A Novel Lithium Ion Battery Combining a Sustainable CuO-Carbon Conversion Anode with a High Voltage Li0.85Ni0.46Cu0.1Mn1.49O4 cathode

Monday, 27 July 2015
Hall 2 (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre)
R. Verrelli (Sapienza University of Rome- Chemistry Department), B. Scrosati (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy), and J. Hassoun (Sapienza University of Rome)
The development of novel cell configurations represents a key step towards a lithium ion batteries technology able to meet the increasing global energy demand.

The search for sustainable and low cost electrode materials exhibiting high specific capacity, efficiency and stability is a longstanding goal of electrochemistry(1).

In this respect, the replacement of conventional intercalation anodes with transition metal oxides reacting by conversion mechanisms is a promising, cheap approach to increase the cell specific capacity(2). Furthermore, the exploitation of cobalt-free, manganese spinel-structure materials at the cathode side is expected to overcome the problems deriving from the high cost and relatively low operating voltage of the presently most used LiCoO2 electrodes.

Here we propose an alternative lithium ion battery combining an easily prepared, eco-compatible CuO-MCMB (Meso Carbon Micro Beads) conversion anode(3) (Theoretical capacity:  520 mAh g-1) with a high voltage, Li0.85Ni0.46Cu0.1Mn1.49O4 spinel-structure cathode(4) (Theoretical capacity: 146 mAh g-1), using propylene carbonate (PC), LiPF6 electrolyte solution.

Both the anode, prepared by high energy ball milling, and the cathode, obtained by co-precipitation and solid state reaction, exhibit optimized morphologies that lead to good electrochemical responses in terms of stability, efficiency and rate-capability. The electrodes structures and morphologies are analyzed by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy, respectively, while their electrochemical behaviors in cell are investigated by means of potentiodinamic cycling with galvanostatic acceleration (PCGA) and galvanostatic cycling tests at different C-rates.

The novel electrode combination here disclosed results in a full lithium ion battery characterized by an operating voltage of 3.4 V, a stable capacity of 90 mA h g-1 and a coulombic efficiency higher than 95% (see Figure below), with estimated gravimetric and volumetric energy densities of about 100 Wh/kg and 220 Wh/l, respectively.

The rationale of this cell configuration lies in the employment of sustainable, low-cost and easily prepared electrode materials that make the battery particularly suitable for practical exploitation.

(1) D. Larcher, J-M. Tarascon, Nature Chemistry, 2015, 7, 19.

(2) J. Cabana, L. Monconduit, D. Larcher and M. Palacìn, Advanced Materials, 2001, 22, E170.

(3) R. Verrelli, J. Hassoun, A. Farkas, T. Jacob, B.Scrosati, Journal of Material Chemistry A, 2013,1, 15329.

(4) R. Verrelli, B. Scrosati, Y.-K. Sun, J. Hassoun, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2014, 6, 5206.