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Title: Understanding Function and Performance of Carbon Additives in Lead-Acid Batteries

While the low cost and strong safety record of lead-acid batteries make them an appealing option compared to lithium-ion technologies for stationary storage, they can be rapidly degraded by the extended periods of high rate, partial state-of-charge operation required in such applications. Degradation occurs primarily through a process called hard sulfation, where large PbSO 4 crystals are formed on the negative battery plates, hindering charge acceptance and reducing battery capacity. Various researchers have found that the addition of some forms of excess carbon to the negative active mass in lead-acid batteries can mitigate hard sulfation, but the mechanism through which this is accomplished is unclear. In this work, the effect of carbon composition and morphology was explored by characterizing four discrete types of carbon additives, then evaluating their effect when added to the negative electrodes within a traditional valve-regulated lead-acid battery design. The cycle life for the carbon modified cells was significantly larger than an unmodified control, with cells containing a mixture of graphitic carbon and carbon black yielding the greatest improvement. The carbons also impacted other electrochemical aspects of the battery (e.g., float current, capacity, etc.) as well as physical characteristics of the negative active mass, such as themore » specific surface area.« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [2] ;  [4]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Materials Reliability
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Advanced Power Sources R&D
  3. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Energy Storage Technology and Systems
  4. East Penn Manufacturing, Lyons, PA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651; 652642
Grant/Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000; NA0003525
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 164; Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
The Electrochemical Society
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 25 ENERGY STORAGE; high-rate partial state of charge; lead-acid battery; lead-carbon battery
OSTI Identifier: