High Specific Energy Lithium-ion Batteries with Novel Cathode
Energy Storage is a critical component of space-based platforms across the full spectrum of exploration, scientific experimentation, defense, communications and monitoring missions. NASA has set targets of 265 Wh/kg of 675 Wh/l for batteries for near-term energy storage applications. Li-ion battery technology has the highest energy density among rechargeable battery technologies. However, achieving the near-term goals require implementation of next-generation active materials. We propose to develop Li-ion cells that meet NASA's near term targets by combining our CAM-7 cathode material, the highest energy content market-ready cathode material available with market-ready Si-based anode materials. Because of its high reversible capacity (>205 mAh/g), high discharge voltage (average 3.85 V vs. Li) and high density (4.8 g/cc), CAM-7 can yield higher energy Li-ion cells than any other market-ready cathode material. A version of CAM-7 targeting portable power and vehicle applications has been fully developed and, as part of its commercialization, is currently being transitioned to a 50 ton per year plant in Massachusetts. In the proposed Phase I program, TIAX will optimize the CAM-7 composition to yield the highest possible cell energy while still meeting the life targets, and simultaneously optimize an anode electrode incorporating a market-ready Si-based material. TIAX will then combine them in Li-ion cells that demonstrate the resulting system's ability to meet all NASA near-term energy, performance and life targets. The Phase I program will demonstrate, at the 200 mAh cell level, performance and cycling of electrode designs projected to meet and exceed NASA's near-term targets when they are incorporated in 18650 cells. A successful Phase I program will be followed by a Phase II program in which such 18650 cells are developed, assembled, and rigorously tested against NASA requirements.
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