Demand expands, and tin application opportunities in the field of lithium battery anode materials increase

by:CTECHi     2021-07-05

The International Tin Industry Association (ITA) stated that if related technologies win market share, by 2030, the tin consumption of three different types of lithium-ion battery anode materials will reach 10,000-20,000 tons per year.

The association stated that these figures will at least double by 2050, especially if tin and silicon are used in lithium-ion battery anode technology.

High-tech lithium battery technology and application learned that tin does have a larger application opportunity in the field of lithium batteries, which involves multiple links such as negative electrodes and solid-state battery electrolytes.

Take the negative electrode as an example, the tin-based negative electrode material has a higher capacity, is cheap, easy to process, and has no toxic side effects. The energy storage of tin is three times that of graphite. At present, scientists have applied nanotechnology to effectively solve the problem of tin charging expansion, especially the synergy with the new generation of silicon anode, which may be greatly used in the field of lithium batteries in the future.

ITA tracks the global Ru0026D, patents and market of tin, and has found that tin is increasingly interested in energy materials and technologies (including lithium-ion batteries). ITA has identified nine technological opportunities for tin in lithium-ion batteries, mainly high-capacity anode materials, as well as solid electrolytes and cathode materials.

In terms of actual technology research and development, international and domestic developments have indeed been made public for many years.

In the field of anodes, as early as 2016, researchers at the University of California, Riverside developed a new silicon-tin composite anode material. The research team found Both silicon and tin are new high-performance anode materials that can replace graphite. It was the first to propose combining two materials into a composite material, which led to a dramatic increase in battery performance. In addition to increasing the capacity to three times that of graphite batteries, silicon-tin nanocomposite batteries are also extremely stable during multiple charge and discharge cycles. In essence, this performance can be extended to its entire service life.

'The synergistic effect between these two materials causes the battery performance to exceed the performance of each material alone. This performance improvement is due to the high Conductivity and energy storage capacity, adding 2% by weight of tin can achieve this effect,' said the research leader Mangolini.

In addition, tin can form an alloy with lithium, which may replace graphite as the next-generation anode material for lithium-ion batteries. However, pure metal tin undergoes huge volume changes during the battery cycle, which easily leads to powdering of the electrode material. The carbon material has high conductivity, good mechanical properties and lithium storage performance. Metal tin and carbon will not form carbides. The addition of carbon materials can not only improve the uniformity of the composite, but also provide the possibility to design Sn-C composites with different structures.

Based on this, in order to give full play to the advantages of metallic tin and carbon materials, tin-carbon (Sn-C) composite materials have been extensively studied. Amorphous carbon, graphite (G), graphene (GP), carbon nanotube (CNT), carbon nanofiber (CNF) and other carbon materials can be used as an inert conductive matrix and a binary compound formed with tin, tin and other metals (M) Carbon-based ternary and multi-element composites that can be formed. By summarizing the research on the structure and performance of tin-carbon composites in recent years, it is believed that the application of multiple composites and multiple structures is the key to improving tin-carbon composite anode materials. Among them, Sn-Co-C-based multi-element composite anode materials are most likely to be applied in the market.

In the field of solid-state batteries, researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have designed a low-cost, scalable way to develop all-solid-state batteries. This all-solid-state battery An important element of the electrolyte is tin.

In 2011, Ryoji Kanno of the Tokyo Institute of Technology and his team worked together with Toyota Motor Corporation and Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Institute in the 'Nature Materials 》 Published a landmark paper introducing a solid electrolyte structured as Li10GeP2S12 (LGPS). This material is a leader in the race to develop all-solid-state batteries. The new research uses two more easily available elements tin and silicon to replace germanium in solid electrolytes.

The all-solid-state system of solid electrolytes is a potential candidate for next-generation batteries. It is expected to provide high power and high energy density, while also ensuring reliable and safe performance. Sulfide-based lithium ion conductors have good electrical conductivity and suitable electrochemical windows and mechanical properties; therefore, they have been intensively studied as potential solid electrolytes. LGPS is a new member of the sulfide crystal electrolyte family, presenting 1.2×10^(-2)Scm^(-1) ionic conductivity, which is comparable to organic fluid electrolytes. All solid-state batteries using LGPS electrolyte exhibit excellent charge and discharge performance. However, germanium is a relatively expensive metal, which may limit the wide application of LGPS materials.

Through the latest research, the researchers maintained the same structure of LGPS and fine-tuned the proportions and positions of tin, silicon and other constituent atoms. The new material LSSPS (composition: Li10.35[Sn0.27Si1.08]P1.65S12(Li3.45[Sn0.09Si0.36]P0.55S4) achieved 1.1×10^(-2)Scm^( -1) The electrical conductivity of the original LGPS structure has almost reached the electrical conductivity of the original LGPS structure. However, further work is needed to optimize the performance under different uses. The new material makes low-cost production without sacrificing performance hopeful.

It is reported that a solid electrolyte material lithium tin phosphorous sulfur (Li10SnP2S12) that NEI Company is applying for a patent. Some analysts believe that with the continued popularity of electric vehicles, new types of better performance The demand for batteries will also increase, which will promote the popularization and application of solid-state tin-containing electrolyte batteries, and ultimately drive the demand for tin consumption in this field.

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