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Technology

Lithium build up in car battery impacts its performance – Ohio State

By Katrice R. Jalbuena

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Lithium build up in the anodes of a lithium-ion battery is known to have a negative effect on its charge capacity, now a study from Ohio State University has found that lithium also accumulates on the battery’s copper current collector.

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Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable batteries that are used in hybrid and electric vehicles. When the battery is in use, lithium ions move back and forth between the battery’s anode and cathode. Over time, lithium starts to build up on the surface of the anode and the battery begins to lose charge capacity.

Scientists are currently working on improving the lifespan and performance of lithium ion batteries, this includes understanding lithium build-up and how to avoid it.

Ohio State researchers were taking a closer look at the cathodes and anodes of lithium-ion car batteries when they found yet another area of lithium build up.

Car batteries have a component known as the “current collector”, a sheet of copper which facilitates electron transfer between the electrodes and the car’s electrical system.

The researchers detected the lithium build up using a technique called neutron depth profiling. NDP detected the presence of lithium in the copper current collector of the batteries. The test found a ration of approximately one lithium atom per 1250 copper atoms.

According to the researchers while this seems like a small number, it is high enough to conceivably affect the electrical performance of the current collector and the performance of a battery. Hence studies seeking to prevent lithium build up in the batteries anode should also take the build up in the current collector under consideration. – EcoSeed Staff



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