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Doped biochar materials for biobased batteries – in-situ characterisation and understanding of structural versus electrochemical properties

Research project The aim of this project is to investigate doped biobased material for carbon electrode material in batteries and gain knowledge about prerequisite for a good electrochemical process by detailed, in-situ characterisation of these bio-based batteries during charge and discharge. In this project, we are focusing on two different types of feedstocks: spent mushroom substrate, rich in cellulose but poorer in lignin, and lignosulfonate, rich in lignin.

Biobased materials can be used as electrode components in batteries, providing a renewable alternative to traditional batteries. In this project, two residual streams will be investigated as feedstocks for doped active carbon electrodes for batteries: spent mushroom substrate, a waste stream from mushroom cultivation, and lignosulfonate, which can be recovered from acidic pulping by the sulphite process. This project aims to investigate and analyse the changes in the material during charge and discharge, which is critical for the future development of more sustainable batteries.

Head of project

Anna Strandberg
Associate professor

Project overview

Project period:

2024-01-01 2025-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Applied Physics and Electronics

Research area

Energy engineering, Materials science

Project description

Utilising biobased materials as electrode components in biobased batteries offers a renewable alternative to conventional batteries. To optimise the performance of bio-based batteries, it is crucial to investigate the properties of doped biobased materials for carbon electrodes from different feedstocks.

Efficiency in the electrochemical process is affected by the large volume change experienced during charging/discharging that might lead to fracture, or the formation of surface coatings (Solid Electrolyte Interface, SEI), this can result in capacity drop. This might be a barrier to practical application. Understanding the changes in carbon electrode material during charge/discharge is therefore important.

With the beamline ForMAX at the synchrotron MAX IV, a 3D multiscale structural characterisation of materials can be performed by a unique combination of full-field microtomography on microscopic length scales with small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SWAXS) on nanoscopic length scales. In-situ characterisation of the structure of the material will give an opportunity to understand the relationship between structure, material properties and charging/discharging dynamics.

The overall aim of the project is to investigate doped biobased material for carbon electrode material and gain detailed knowledge about a prerequisite for a good electrochemical process by in-situ characterisation of bio-based batteries during charge and discharge.

Latest update: 2024-04-24