It is a well-known fact that lithium-ion batteries are taking over the world with the increased demand for powering electric cars. It is also very well-known, however, that the process of producing these batteries can be quite expensive and harmful to the environment due to the presence of methylpyrrolidone (NMP) solvent used in the electrodes.
A team of researchers at Aalto University, Finland, developed a cheaper and safer method for lithium-ion batteries production that involves replacement of the harmful solvent. They estimated that the production cost drops with as much as 5%, because of the low cost of transportation and recycling of harmful chemicals.
In their article published in the Journal of Power Sources, the researchers explain that the key was to change the binding agent with a water-soluble one that is also chemically, electrochemically and mechanically suitable. They found acrylic S020 most ideal for the purpose.
This is not the only invention in the field of batteries production that researchers at Aalto University came up with. Earlier this year, another team covered the lithium iron phosphate batteries electrodes with thin protective layers, which improved significantly the durability of the batteries.