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Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division

Electrochemical Energy Storage

In this area, we are developing technologies to aid the growth of the U.S. battery manufacturing industry, transition the automotive fleet to plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles and enable greater use of renewable energy. Our research and development efforts address key issues associated with a wide range of energy storage chemistries, including lithium-ion, lithium-sulfur, lithium-air, magnesium-ion, sodium-ion and non-aqueous/aqueous organic redox flow batteries. 

Key recent patented technologies from CSE include:

  • A composite cathode for lithium-ion batteries that has cost and safety benefits over conventional LiCoO2 cathodes. It can also be charged and discharged at high rates. US Patents 6,677,082 and 6,680,14.
  • A series of redox shuttle additives for lithium-ion batteries that provide overcharge protection and increased battery safety. They also reduce cost and improve battery reliability. US Patent 7,851,092.
  • Non-aqueous electrolytes containing stabilization additives and electrochemical devices containing the same. These additives enable excellent specific power and energy and extended calendar life in lithium-ion batteries. They also work across a broad temperature range with minimal or no capacity loss. US Patents 7,968,235 and 8,551,661.
  • A new method for controlling the composition gradient of the elements within the particles of lithium-ion cathodes. The resulting particles are nickel-rich on the inside for a high capacity battery, and manganese-rich on the exterior surface for increased safety and stability. US Patent 8,591,774.
  • Cathodes made of stable di-lithium layered compounds for use in lithium-ion batteries. They can attain higher capacities and energies than comparable state-of-the-art batteries. They also avoid use of the cobalt now used in conventional LiCoO2 cathodes, which is expensive and toxic. US Patent 7,358,009.
  • A large family of low-cobalt lithium metal oxide electrodes having higher voltage, increased stability and less of the expensive element manganese compared with state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries. This family includes a range of cathode structures: layered-type structures, spinel-type structures, rock-salt-type structures and combinations thereof. US patents 7,635,536, 7,303,840, 7,790,308, 8,080,340, 9,593,024, 10,069,143, 10,790,508, 10,573,889, 10,305,10. Also, US Pending Applications 15/793,577 and 16/233,369.
  • A large suite of surface structures, treatments and coatings for high-voltage lithium metal oxide electrodes, including advanced nickel-manganese and lithium-rich cathode materials. These technologies offer customizable approaches for a range of high-voltage lithium metal oxide electrodes. US patents 8,148,001, 8,383,077, 9,130,226, 8,808,912, 9,306,210, 10,177,365, 10,431,820, and 10,741,839. US patent applications 16/208,381, 16/914,565, and 15/968,314.
  • A non-aqueous redox flow battery based on oxidation and reduction of organic electroactive materials at the anode and cathode, as well as cation exchange to balance charges resulting from the redox reactions. Such batteries could support electrical grids and enable the reliable implementation of intermittent renewable energy sources. US Patent 9,300,000.
  • Halogen-free electrolytes for magnesium batteries. They would replace halogen-containing electrolytes, whose widespread use has been inhibited because the corrosiveness of the halogen can damage cell components. US Patent 10,593,996.
  • Electrolyte additives for lithium-ion batteries operated at high voltage (>4.5 V). They overcome the past barrier of electrolyte oxidation and transition metal dissolution in high-voltage operation of lithium-ion batteries with nickel-rich layered oxide cathodes. US patent 10,461,364.

For further information on these and other Argonne technologies with worldwide impact, go to Science and Technology Partnerships and Outreach.