Electric vehicle (EV) production is accelerating quickly, yet the high cost of Lithium-ion batteries has been a long-standing barrier to battery-powered EV adoption. To ensure EVs have longer driving ranges, battery packs need to support higher energy density. Developing LiB cathodes from high nickel ternary alloys and manganese-based, lithium-rich metal oxides is a promising method for increasing the energy density and capacity of batteries. Yet, these compounds demonstrate low thermal stability in high-heat and high-voltage conditions and can form dendrites that penetrate and damage the battery membrane. This drawback elevates the risk of thermal runaway.
Lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) that power electric vehicles (EV) are key to meeting the decarbonization goals set by the global automotive industry. Although, electric vehicle (EV) production is accelerating faster than ever, the high cost of LiBs has been a long-standing barrier to battery-powered EV adoption. However, the average cost of LiB packs for EVs is now estimated at $132 per kilowatt hour (kWh) – an 89% decrease compared to 2010. As a result, 2021 saw record-breaking EV sales, with about 35 million new vehicles forecasted to be produced globally by 2030.
Many consumers remain anxious about the risk of unstable EV batteries leading to an accident. To ensure EVs meet the demand for longer driving ranges, manufacturers need to develop battery packs that support higher energy density. Developing LiB cathodes from high nickel ternary alloys and manganese-based, lithium-rich metal oxides is widely considered a promising method for significantly increasing the energy density and capacity of batteries.
Yet, these compounds demonstrate low thermal stability in high-heat and high-voltage conditions. They also result in the formation of dendrites that penetrate and damage the battery membrane. This drawback significantly elevates the risk of thermal runaway that can cause batteries to catch fire or explode.
In addition to requiring expensive recalls, these accidents do incalculable damage to an automotive brand’s reputation. This risk has prompted some EV producers to design cars with cobalt-free iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries that are safer and more cost effective, but require many more cells to enable long driving ranges.
Nickel and cobalt also increase the risk of metal ion dissolution and hydrogen fluoride attack that result in chemical aging proven to cause LiBs to wear out and fail prematurely. This damage rapidly lowers the maximum capacity batteries can hold, which requires EVs to undergo longer and more frequent re-charging cycles.
To stabilize the temperature and capacity retention performance of LiBs, you need to modify the electrolytes that facilitate ion exchange from the cathode. DSM is the largest producer of succinonitrile (SN), a high-performance electrolyte additive. Our Stanyl® SN-PURE compound forms a protective layer at the cathode to suppress electrolyte decomposition, protect against oxidation and prevent dendrite formation. The compound offers:
Extensive testing using ethylene carbonate (EC)-based electrolytes and cathodes made from lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) has determined how SN impacts the safety and performance of batteries.
Electrolytes containing an SN additive effectively prevented thermal runaway when battery chambers were heated up to 150°C, while the additive-free standard version became unstable after 40 minutes – leading to rapid exponential temperature increases. Oxidation stability testing showed that SN additives reduce gas expansion in battery packs by more than 50% after 70 minutes of high heat exposure. Batteries that use SN also recharged to consistent capacity levels after 100 test cycles, while the alternative without it showed steady decreases in capacity after 40 cycles.
We understand your concern with short or limited supplies of material solutions for battery components.
Regionally independent local supplies of material additives can play a vital role in the growth of emerging European and American LiB battery manufacturing industries. Our global footprint includes offices and material production facilities in every major market to provide all our customers with access to reliable supply chains.
DSM has built our reputation on proactively adjusting to customers’ changing needs – even during the COVID-19 pandemic when we declared zero force majeures. As a result, we’re prepared to help you deliver safe and reliable EV battery packs that bring more clean-energy transportation to roads faster.
Global Marketing Manager of Mobility
02 November 2022
Helping you make a safer, lighter and more sustainable electric vehicle
Manufacturing next-generation EV charging plugs