Combustion Synthesis of Nanoparticle Metal Phosphate Cathode Materials for Improved Lithium Ion Batteries

EPA Contract Number: EPD04033
Title: Combustion Synthesis of Nanoparticle Metal Phosphate Cathode Materials for Improved Lithium Ion Batteries
Investigators: Evenson, Carl R.
Small Business: Eltron Research & Development Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2004 through August 31, 2004
Project Amount: $69,999
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , SBIR - Nanotechnology , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


This Phase I research project will focus on the production of nanoparticle metal phosphates for improved lithium ion battery cathodes. Nickel-cadmium batteries have a significant worldwide environmental impact due to improper disposal. As a consequence, toxic heavy metals such as nickel and cadmium are released into the environment and have severe adverse affects on humans. Lithium ion batteries are slowly replacing nickel-cadmium batteries in many applications; however, new cathode materials are needed to further increase the efficiency and lower the cost of lithium ion batteries to completely replace nickel-cadmium batteries.

Doped and undoped metal phosphates offer an alternative battery cathode material in both lithium ion batteries and potentially multivalent cation batteries. Nanoparticle phosphates offer the possibility of increased lithium ion intercalation for improved efficiency, low cost, and minimal environmental impact. Eltron Research, Inc., will use a glycine nitrate-phosphate combustion synthesis method to synthesize metal phosphate ceramic particles in the range of 10-50 nanometers. The particles will be characterized with x-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, surface area measurements, and scanning electron microscope analyses. The ability of the nanoparticle phosphates to intercalate lithium cations will be tested and compared to larger particle analogs synthesized by traditional ceramic processing methods. Lithium intercalation will be determined by reduction with n-butyl lithium. Coin cells will be fabricated and tested using cyclic voltammetry to determine insertion capacity and reversibility of the intercalation process.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, combustion synthesis, nanoparticle metal phosphate, cathode, lithium ion battery, nickel-cadmium battery, toxic heavy metals, intercalation, EPA., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, lithium ion batteries, nanotechnology, energy efficiency, energy technology, nanomaterials, nanoparticles, cathode material

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report