Silicon anodes improve capacity of li-ion batteries, research finds

Silicon could present a solution to problems hampering the development of next-generation lithium-ion batteries, new research has revealed

In a study conducted by the University of Eastern Finland, traditional graphite anodes on li-ion batteries were replaced with electrochemically produced nanoporous silicon anodes – resulting in quadrupled anode capacity and increased energy density.

The results could provide a promising step forward for the renewable energy market, where li-ion batteries pose the best solution for energy storage.

In the past, it has been generally understood that in order for silicon to work in batteries, nanoparticles are required. This brings many challenges in production, price and safety of the material.

One of the main findings of the study was that with the right porosity, silicon particles sized between 10 and 20 micrometres were the most suitable ones to be used in batteries.

“We were able to combine the best of nano- and micro-technologies: nano-level functionality combined with micro-level processability, all this without compromising performance,” said Timo Ikonen, one of the project researchers from the University of Eastern Finland.

Micrometre-sized particles are easier and safer to process than nanoparticles, and also present a better choice from the viewpoint of battery material recyclability.

This content originally appeared on the E&T Energy and Power Hub. Read the full version here and sign up to join our community of energy experts.

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