Fluorine-free electrolytes for Li-ion batteries

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Strukturkemi

Author: Filippa Wahlfort; [2021]

Keywords: Li-ion batteries; fluorine-free;

Abstract: Lithium-ion batteries are of great importance for today's society. The state-of-the-art batteries that are used today use a fluorinated electrolyte that contains the salt LiPF6 and acts as both a safety hazard and an environmental issue due to its ability to form the toxic gas hydrogen fluoride (HF). This project aims to find a fluorine-free electrolyte that can be used in silicon-based lithium-ion batteries to make them more environmentally friendly without detriment to the electrochemical performance. To do so, an additive that may form a solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) stable enough to allow a fluorine-free electrolyte to replace the ones used today is sought for. The salt of interest is lithium  bis(oxalato)borate (LiBOB). Based on previous research electrolytes using LiBOB in either the solvent γ-Butyrolactone (GBL) or a mixture of ethylene carbonate (EC) and ethyl methyl carbonate (EMC) are examined. The additives used are vinylene carbonate (VC) and 1,3,2-dioxathiolane 2,2-dioxide (DTD). Techniques used are cyclic voltammetry, linear sweep voltammetry, galvanostatic charge and discharge, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy.  The cells using GBL as solvent have cycled very poorly during this project while LiBOB in EC:EMC + VC shows the most promising results, with highest capacity retention and less amount of degraded LiBOB during the first charge. It is also to be noted that both EC:EMC based electrolytes provide the formation of a passivating solid electrolyte interface (SEI) and are of interest for further investigation based on the results obtained during this project.

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