ITRI has created ChemSEI-Linker to extend the number of cycles by 70% and increase vehicle range by 15%. (All images: ITRI)

ChemSEI-Linker extends lithium battery life, increases EV range

New technologies continue to push the boundaries of battery technology. As electrification becomes more prevalent in the heavy-duty and off-highway industries, battery capabilities continue to be a vital link in what new, advanced powertrains are able to accomplish. The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan’s largest technology R&D institution, has announced a new material designed to increase cycle life and improve recyclability of lithium batteries.

Over time, the battery discharge/charge process creates microcracks that degrade its performance. ITRI has created ChemSEI-Linker to extend the number of cycles by 70% and increase vehicle range by 15%. This material covers the lithium battery electrodes and protects them from a solid electrolyte interface (SEI) layer that forms on electrodes during the discharge/charge process. Increasing battery life and range could also allow manufacturers the ability to reduce battery pack sizes, lowering an expense that can make up to 40% of a vehicle’s cost.

Because ChemSEI-Linker creates a layer over the active electrode material, recycling becomes a simpler and effective procedure, ITRI claims. A battery manufacturer can extract the electrode directly for reuse rather than having to transform it into lithium carbonate and various metals by intermediate physical and metallurgical recycling processes. This allows for streamlined recycling operations and reduced costs for reusing the lithium materials. The ChemSEI-Linker layer also improves battery safety by passing the nail-penetration tests.

Nations worldwide are actively developing industries and products related to electric vehicles, such as safe, high-capacity, high-power, long-life, and low-cost lithium-ion batteries,” said Dr. Jing-Pin Pan, Chief Technology Officer of ITRI’s Material and Chemical Research Laboratories, in a statement. “Service life, energy density, power density, capacity, and safety are the most crucial technological challenges for practical batteries. ITRI developed ChemSEI-Linker to address environmental concerns and improve the performance, recyclability, and safety of lithium batteries.”

ChemSEI-Linker is an artificial nanoscale solid electrolyte interface that stabilizes lithium battery electrodes using a unique composition and structure. The material includes a self-forming chemical solid electrolyte interface modification technology (ChemSEI) and an electrode paste with a linker (Chemlinkbat paste) integrated into a multifunctional architecture. It combines in-situ organic hyperbranched polymer material with silane-type linkers, electro-conductive additives (graphite, carbon nanotubes, metallic flakes or fibers) and conductive metallic ion inorganic structural materials.

A protective film forms on the surface of the active electrode cathode and anode materials during the mixing of the Chemlinkbat electrode paste. This film provides stress buffering and functional protection for the interfaces between the active electrode materials, electro-conductive additives, and binders of the electrode paste. Chemlinkbat paste can be applied with two-sided precision coating and baking to manufacture ChemSEI-Linker electrodes.

Lithium batteries present the latest electrification capabilities available for advanced vehicle propulsion. ITRI has developed a material critical to the performance, security and reusability of this technology. ChemSEI-Linker offers the possibility to use lithium batteries longer and safer, over and over again.

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