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Carbon materials development for lithium carbon liquid electrolyte traction batteries

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Low cost lithium ion batteries

Over the last thirty years, the negative consequences of automobiles on the environment has stimulated extensive research on electric vehicle technology. A new production process for materials used in lithium ion batteries components reduces cost and increases efficiency, helping to minimise environmental impact.

Energy

Environmental problems, especially in urban areas, due to excessive vehicle emissions, give rise to stronger interest in the electric vehicle (EV). However, the main drawback of the EV has been the battery, which comprises the energy storage of the vehicle. Rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are considered to have the potential to meet demanding electric vehicle battery targets in terms of capacity and efficiency. Li-ion cells are based on insertion electrodes, in which lithium-ions move from the positive terminal (cathode) to the negative one (anode) on charge and in the opposite direction on discharge. Carbonaceous materials used in the anode construction play an important role in terms of both cost and performance. The carbon anode is currently the limiting component since its cost is very high. Schunk Kohlenstoffechnik, driven by the need for the synthesis of cost efficient carbons, has developed a production process for graphite materials. Graphite is a carbon form, with an hexagonal structure, commonly used for anode construction. The new process and the resulting materials maintain the state-of-the-art level of electrical performance of the carbon anodes, in terms of capacity and efficiency. Moreover, it promises a cost reduction potential of more than 50% compared to frequently used high performance carbon materials for lithium ion batteries. The production process can be used in different areas of applications, beyond electrical vehicle technology, wherever carbon and graphite materials can be utilised. Potential partners in the field of electrical or electrochemical components, in particular battery manufacturers, can offer their experience in further research and development.

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