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Title: Microstructural Analysis of the Effects of Thermal Runaway on Li-Ion and Na-Ion Battery Electrodes

Abstract

Thermal runaway is a phenomenon that occurs due to self-sustaining reactions within batteries at elevated temperatures resulting in catastrophic failure. Here, the thermal runaway process is studied for a Li-ion and Na-ion pouch cells of similar energy density (10.5 Wh, 12 Wh, respectively) using accelerating rate calorimetry (ARC). Both cells were constructed with a z-fold configuration, with a standard shutdown separator in the Li-ion and a low-cost polypropylene (PP) separator in the Na-ion. Even with the shutdown separator, it is shown that the self-heating rate and rate of thermal runaway in Na-ion cells is significantly slower than that observed in Li-ion systems. The thermal runaway event initiates at a higher temperature in Na-ion cells. The effect of thermal runaway on the architecture of the cells is examined using X-ray microcomputed tomography, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is used to examine the failed electrodes of both cells. In conclusion, from examination of the respective electrodes, likely due to the carbonate solvent containing electrolyte, it is suggested that thermal runaway in Na-ion batteries (NIBs) occurs via a similar mechanism to that reported for Li-ion cells.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [2];  [2]
  1. Univ. College London, London (United Kingdom); National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Univ. College London, London (United Kingdom)
  3. Sharp Labs of Europe, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom)
  4. Sharp Labs of Europe, Oxfordshire (United Kingdom); Univ. College London, London (United Kingdom); Univ. of Warwick, Coventry (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1416719
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5400-70768
Journal ID: ISSN 2381-6872
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2381-6872
Publisher:
ASME
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; computerized tomography; electric batteries; electrodes; electrolytes; ions; lithium; lithium compounds; polypropylenes; scanning electron microscopy; separators; sodium compounds

Citation Formats

Finegan, Donal P., Robinson, James B., Heenan, Thomas M. M., Smith, Katherine, Kendrick, Emma, Brett, Daniel J. L., and Shearing, Paul R. Microstructural Analysis of the Effects of Thermal Runaway on Li-Ion and Na-Ion Battery Electrodes. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1115/1.4038518.
Finegan, Donal P., Robinson, James B., Heenan, Thomas M. M., Smith, Katherine, Kendrick, Emma, Brett, Daniel J. L., & Shearing, Paul R. Microstructural Analysis of the Effects of Thermal Runaway on Li-Ion and Na-Ion Battery Electrodes. United States. doi:10.1115/1.4038518.
Finegan, Donal P., Robinson, James B., Heenan, Thomas M. M., Smith, Katherine, Kendrick, Emma, Brett, Daniel J. L., and Shearing, Paul R. Wed . "Microstructural Analysis of the Effects of Thermal Runaway on Li-Ion and Na-Ion Battery Electrodes". United States. doi:10.1115/1.4038518. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1416719.
@article{osti_1416719,
title = {Microstructural Analysis of the Effects of Thermal Runaway on Li-Ion and Na-Ion Battery Electrodes},
author = {Finegan, Donal P. and Robinson, James B. and Heenan, Thomas M. M. and Smith, Katherine and Kendrick, Emma and Brett, Daniel J. L. and Shearing, Paul R.},
abstractNote = {Thermal runaway is a phenomenon that occurs due to self-sustaining reactions within batteries at elevated temperatures resulting in catastrophic failure. Here, the thermal runaway process is studied for a Li-ion and Na-ion pouch cells of similar energy density (10.5 Wh, 12 Wh, respectively) using accelerating rate calorimetry (ARC). Both cells were constructed with a z-fold configuration, with a standard shutdown separator in the Li-ion and a low-cost polypropylene (PP) separator in the Na-ion. Even with the shutdown separator, it is shown that the self-heating rate and rate of thermal runaway in Na-ion cells is significantly slower than that observed in Li-ion systems. The thermal runaway event initiates at a higher temperature in Na-ion cells. The effect of thermal runaway on the architecture of the cells is examined using X-ray microcomputed tomography, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is used to examine the failed electrodes of both cells. In conclusion, from examination of the respective electrodes, likely due to the carbonate solvent containing electrolyte, it is suggested that thermal runaway in Na-ion batteries (NIBs) occurs via a similar mechanism to that reported for Li-ion cells.},
doi = {10.1115/1.4038518},
journal = {Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage},
number = 1,
volume = 15,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

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