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They propose a derivative of castor oil as a non-polluting binder in lithium batteries

They propose a derivative of castor oil as a non-polluting binder in lithium batteries

A team of scientists in Austria has developed a battery of lithium which uses a derivative of castor oil as a binder that, they claim, reduces the probability of failures and the production of toxic waste.

Batteries of this type typically use polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) as the binder that holds the electrode materials together, preventing them from coming loose during the charging and discharging process.

PVDF is also used as a separator between the positive and negative electrodes.

Now, a team from the Johannes Kepler University, in the Austrian city of Linz, has proposed using as a binder a derivative of castor oil that is produced in water at moderate temperatures, unlike the high energy consumption required to make PVDF.

Furthermore, this new binder, which they call 11-aminoundecanoic acid, is thermally stable at temperatures of up to 350 °C and significantly improves adhesion, according to a study published in the specialized journal Advanced Energy Materials.

That better adhesion “significantly reduces the probability of a battery failing due to the electrode becoming detached from the current collector,” one of the authors of the study, Klaus Bretterbauer, from the Institute of Chemical Technology of Organic Materials at that university center, explained to the APA agency.

Another advantage, they maintain, is that it is a natural product, unlike PVDF, which is produced using toxic solvents.

Furthermore, since this binder is soluble in water, the recovery and recycling process of materials such as lithium, cobalt or manganese is easier.

The authors of the study also recall that the European Union has plans to ban synthetic chemical agents of the PFAS type, which includes PVDF.

“Batteries with PFAS, on the other hand, are difficult to recycle and pose a high risk to the environment, especially due to their toxicity,” says Bretterbauer.

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Source: Gestion

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