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Hard carbon nanofibers as a self-supporting negative electrode for the next generation of sodium-ion batteries

Grant number: 22/12609-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2023
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Roberto Manuel Torresi
Grantee:Vinícius Dias Silva
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:21/00675-4 - Tying up materials for electrochemical energy storage and catalysis, AP.TEM


This project is inserted in the currently relevant context, of global interest, which deals with the development of new alternative energy technologies to fossil fuels, to mitigate the effects caused by global warming. Lithium batteries are currently the most used for energy storage in various applications. However, due to their scarcity, these devices are unable to supply the growing demand for charge accumulators by itself. In this context, sodium ion batteries emerge as a low-cost alternative, based on an element abundant on earth. In this work, we propose the development of negative electrodes for sodium ion batteries, based on hard carbon nanofibers, which has been considered one of the most promising candidates for this application. The nanofibers will be obtained by a spinning technique, the Supersonic Solution Blow (SSB), capable of producing nanofibers with an average diameter below 100 nm on a large scale. As a precursor to hard carbon, ecologically correct materials will be used, such as lignin, which is initially a residue from the pulp industry. Finally, after several careful analyzes using different electrolytes (aqueous, organic solvents, and ionic liquids), and ex situ and in situ characterization techniques, a prototype pouch cell sodium ion battery will be assembled, and its performance will be evaluated. Thus, it is expected to obtain an optimized and competitive electrode capable of meeting the operational and performance needs required for commercialization and contributing with new insights for the maturing of the technology of negative electrodes based on hard carbon.

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