The safety of lithium-ion batteries can be decisively improved through the choice of suitable electrolyte formulations. The Li-Redox project, which was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), was successfully concluded in 2012.
Together with two renowned industrial partners, ZSW’s work in the project was focussed on developing redox shuttle electrolyte additives (RSAs). RSAs enable reversible protection against overcharging by deploying an internal redox circuit to consume the overcharge current (fig. below left), whereby the cell can still be used once the overcharging protection mechanism has been activated. A combined theoretical and experimental approach was adopted for the project. A large number of potential RSA candidates were first of all screened in advance using ab-initio calculations. The most promising candidates were then experimentally characterised in detail and tested in terms of their effectiveness.