Bio-based resources are finding a place in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. Wood, agricultural wastes and other low-cost carbon sources now serve as composite anode ingredients in a process pioneered by material solutions provider X-BATT.

Leveraging agricultural waste products for this application helps to address the critical mineral shortage affecting the electrification supply chain by replacing or supplementing graphite with abundant, renewable resources. The technology also promotes carbon sequestration, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and supports sustainable economic growth.

The use of polymer derived ceramic (PDC) composite materials in the patented materials synthesis process, has shown promising results in initial screenings and offers a viable pathway to create sustainable, high-performance lithium-ion batteries. The PDCs can function as anode materials due to the crosslinked network of amorphous silicon oxycarbide matrix that remains electrochemically active.

This advance highlights the potential of corn husk, rice husk, bamboo and spent coffee grounds in producing anode materials that exhibit higher reversible specific capacity — in the 380 mAh/g to 600 mAh/g range — and better rate capability than traditional graphite. This not only reduces dependence on foreign sources for critical materials but also presents a circular economy model for utilizing low-value waste materials in high-value applications.

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