Researchers find cheaper, safer way to produce li-ion battieries
13 November 2012
Researchers at Aalto University, Finland have developed a method for producing lithium batteries that is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than previously used methods.
This new process has succeeded in replacing the harmful methylpyrrolidone (NMP) solvent - traditionally used in the manufacturing of electrodes - with water. Removing this harmful solvent from the production process makes the production of batteries simpler and safer for employees.
Moreover, production costs can be reduced by as much as 5 percent, some of the saving coming from the reduced cost of transporting and recycling harmful chemicals and the lower risk of exposure to employees.
A prerequisite for giving up the harmful solvent used in batteries was changing the binding agent to a water-soluble one. Finding the new binding agent, acrylic S020, was difficult because it not only had to be water-soluble but also chemically, electrochemically and mechanically ideal for this purpose.
Recently, Finnish Aalto University has achieved many significant results in battery research. Earlier this year, researchers found a way to significantly improve the durability of lithium-ion batteries by covering the electrodes of lithium iron phosphate batteries with extremely thin protective layers, and by increasing the potential of lithium iron phosphate used as a positive electrode by doping.