EnerG2 introduces silicon-carbon composite for Li-ion anodes; 5x improvement in cycle life over silicon
24 January 2014
EnerG2, a company manufacturing advanced nano-structured materials for next-generation energy storage, has introduced a carbon and silicon composite to boost lithium-ion battery capacity and power performance. The new silicon-carbon composite solution leverages EnerG2’s polymer chemistry-based approach and come less than one year after its launch of production of hard carbons tailored for Li-ion anodes. (Earlier post.)
EnerG2 is using the hard carbon as a structurally reinforcing and electrochemical-enhancing backbone for silicon, said Dr. Aaron Feaver, Co-Founder and CTO of EnerG2. The composite of silicon and carbon addresses the problem of severe volumetric change and subsequent material damage and degradation of capacity and cycle life experienced by silicon.
EnerG2 says that its silicon-carbon solution provides a 5X improvement in battery cycle life over whatever silicon they incorporate into the matrix, while while maintaining a significant improvement in energy density.
In other words, the technology allows silicon which might cycle 100 times to increase its cycle life to 500 times. While cycle life depends on the quality of silicon that is used, the 5x claim is based on the improvement over using the silicon with just carbon black and binder vs. incorporating it into the EnerG2 carbon matrix.
The technology is compatible with future improvements in silicon materials and is designed to leverage increased material stability at a consistently low cost.
Energ2’s manufacturing facility is dedicated to the commercial-scale production of nano-engineered carbon material for high-performance energy storage applications. The 74,000 square foot plant located in Albany, Oregon came online in February 2012 and has been successfully upgraded to achieve compatibility with EnerG2’s new carbon-silicon solution.
Our competitors are still working in the lab. Meanwhile, we’re able to work rapidly at large scale, because this new product is a drop-in for our existing plant. US manufacturing as a whole will benefit from our breakthrough, now that we’re competing as a successful lithium-ion battery materials supplier against Korea, Japan and China.—Rick Luebbe, EnerG2’s Co-Founder and CEO
Could this be the first step towards local mass production of 5-5-5 batteries for future affordable extended range BEVs by 2020 or so?
Posted by: HarveyD | 24 January 2014 at 11:56 AM
So, is there a corresponding advancement in cathode energy density to go along with the various durable silicon anode efforts?
Btw, Harvey, If there is to be a huge leap forward by 2020, in all likelihood, the prototype with the right characteristics will have to be built by 2016, confirmed in tests by 2017, and it will take 3 more years to ramp up.
That said, which do you think is more likely; that we will see all the elements in one giant leap forward battery, or that we will see component advancements in various places that eventually are integrated?
Posted by: HealthyBreeze | 24 January 2014 at 03:33 PM
One of these days, somebody will integrate the best elements into a Superior battery. China could do it for their local market?
Posted by: HarveyD | 24 January 2014 at 05:03 PM
Remember, 500 cycles is a fraction of the 3500-odd needed for a 10-year lifespan with daily cycling. This may be wonderful for laptops and cell phones, but unless there's a move to make replacement batteries a lot easier to get and install, not so much for vehicles.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 24 January 2014 at 06:59 PM
But, 500 x 500 Km = 250,000 Km or 25,000 Km per year for 10 years. Wouldn't that be more than enough for the average user?
Posted by: HarveyD | 26 January 2014 at 10:19 AM
If calendar life holds up, yes. But a 500-cycle battery is not suitable for PHEVs.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 26 January 2014 at 06:57 PM
After 10 years or by the time the first 250,000 Km is done, lower cost 500,000+ Km batteries will be available?
Posted by: HarveyD | 27 January 2014 at 02:35 PM