California: Conducting Polymer Binder Boosts Storage Capacity, Wins R&D 100 Award

Project Overview
Positive Impact: Conducting Polymer Binder is used in rechargeable batteries and boosts storage capacity. Receives 2013 R&D 100 Award.
Location: California
Partners: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Nextval, Inc.
EERE Investment: $1.2 million over four years
Clean Energy Sector: Sustainable transportationPDF

Working with Nextval, Inc., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) developed a Conducting Polymer Binder for high-capacity lithium-ion batteries. With a focus on enabling smaller, lighter, and cheaper batteries, LBNL and Nextval researchers developed a new anode (negative electrode) material that is strong, elastic, porous, highly conductive, and can boost power storage capacity by 30%. The elastic material stretches during the expansion of silicon particles as the battery charges, and contracts during discharge—giving silicon anodes the flexibility to “breathe.” The electronically-conductive binder for silicon anodes triples the energy of current graphite anodes with much improved cycle life. The binder was recognized for its progress in the industry and received a 2013 R&D 100 Award.

The Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) develops and deploys efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies that will enable America to use less petroleum. These technologies will provide Americans with greater freedom of mobility and energy security, while lowering costs and reducing impacts on the environment.

Learn more about this topic: