Umicore has filed a patent for a powder to be used in the negative electrode of a battery. The powder consists of a mixture of carbonaceous matrix material and silicon-based particles, along with Si-free carbonaceous particles containing graphitic domains of a specific size range. GlobalData’s report on Umicore gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData's company profile on Umicore, hydrogen storage alloys was a key innovation area identified from patents. Umicore's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.
Powder for negative electrode of battery with carbonaceous and silicon-based particles
A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230207781A1) describes a powder formulation for use in the negative electrode of a battery. The powder consists of two fractions of particles: one fraction contains a carbonaceous matrix material with dispersed silicon-based particles, while the other fraction consists of Si-free carbonaceous particles with graphitic domains. The graphitic domains in the Si-free carbonaceous particles have a mean size between 10 nm and 45 nm, as determined by X-ray diffraction. Importantly, the particles containing the carbonaceous matrix material and silicon-based particles are free of graphitic domains larger than 5 nm.
The patent further specifies that the mean size of the graphitic domains should be between 12 nm and 39 nm. The X-ray diffractogram of the powder should exhibit a peak assigned to C(002) with a maximum intensity IC at 2?Cu between 26° and 27°, as well as a peak assigned to Si(111) with a maximum intensity IS at 2?Cu between 28° and 29°. The ratio of IC to IS should be between 0.2 and 2.0. The Si-free carbonaceous particles with graphitic domains should have a number-based size distribution with a d50 value between 6 µm and 25 µm.
The patent also mentions that the Si-free carbonaceous particles can be made of materials such as exfoliated graphite, expanded graphite, or graphene nanoplatelets. The silicon-based particles should have a number-based size distribution with a d50 value between 20 nm and 150 nm. The powder can have a silicon content (C) between 10 wt % and 60 wt %, and the oxygen content (D) should be less than or equal to 0.15 times the silicon content.
Other characteristics of the powder include the presence of pores, a volume-based particle size distribution with D10 between 1 µm and 10 µm, D50 between 8 µm and 25 µm, and D90 between 10 µm and 40 µm. The BET surface area of the powder should be at most 10 m2/g, and the matrix material can be derived from the thermal decomposition of materials like polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl chloride, sucrose, coal-tar pitch, petroleum pitch, lignin, or a resin.
The patent also mentions that the powder can be used in a battery, specifically in the negative electrode. Additionally, it specifies that the particles containing the carbonaceous matrix material and silicon-based particles should be free of graphitic domains larger than 2 nm. The BET surface area of the powder can be further limited to at most 5 m2/g.
In summary, the patent describes a specific powder formulation for use in the negative electrode of a battery. The powder consists of two fractions of particles, one with a carbonaceous matrix material and silicon-based particles, and the other with Si-free carbonaceous particles containing graphitic domains. The patent outlines various characteristics and requirements for the powder, including the size and distribution of graphitic domains, X-ray diffraction peaks, particle size distribution, silicon and oxygen content, presence of pores, BET surface area, and the materials used for the matrix material.