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Crop-derived starch component serves as high-performance Li-ion electrode binder

A team from the Tokyo University of Science and Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI) reports that the use of a crop-derived polysaccharide as a binder in silicon-graphite electrodes “drastically” improves electrode performance compared to the conventional binder PVdF.

Click to enlarge.

A paper on their work is published in the journal ChemSusChem.

The researchers used a slurry of amylopectin—a soluble polysaccharide and highly branched polymer of glucose, and one of the two main components of starch derived from agricultural products such as corn, potato and rice. They suggested that the improved performance is coupled to the degree of branching.


  • Murase, M., Yabuuchi, N., Han, Z.-J., Son, J.-Y., Cui, Y.-T., Oji, H. and Komaba, S. (2012), Crop-Derived Polysaccharides as Binders for High-Capacity Silicon/Graphite-Based Electrodes in Lithium-Ion Batteries. ChemSusChem. doi: 10.1002/cssc.201200650



Is a 3X (probably very low cost) improvement too good to be true? Will this potential huge improvement going to be tabled?


Value at cycle 1000, 2000?


This improvement?  Tabled?  Not bloody likely, there's way too much money to be made from it.


E-P. Hope that you are 100% correct and that many manufacturers will jump on this opportunity.

However, many similar potential major battery advancements or breakthroughs were never mass produced. Will this one be treated differently?


Look at the capacity graph; the amylopectin electrode retains nearly 3x the capacity of the PVdF electrode.  This means either a 2/3 savings on material for the electrode (with a reduction in bulk) or a potential to expand energy density and provide more capacity in the same form factor.

The limits of so many electronic devices are due to their batteries, any improvement means better products.  If amylopectin can be incorporated into a cell which can be manufactured successfully, it's a no-brainer; unless PVdA is required to meet temperature or other requirements, amylopectin will be the binder of choice.


Who would have thought that a relatively low cost binder could make that much difference in the storage unit performance?

Let's hope that optimization and mass manufacturing can progress rapidly.

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