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Associate Professor Dr. Montree Sawangphruk

Chemical Engineering
School of Energy Science and Engineering (ESE)
Tel. +66(0) 33 014251
Email montree.s@vistec.ac.th
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High-Performance Li-lon Batteries


Research Overview

Li-ion batteries are the most widely used energy storage due to its high energy density (~100-170 Wh kg-1), high capacity, high charging rate, long cycle life, and low cost. They are currently used as the portable energy sources, especially in mobile phone, laptop, and electric vehicles (EVs). Normally, the commercial Li-ion batteries use metal oxide (e.g. LiCoO2, LiMn2O4, etc.) as the cathode and carbon materials (i.e. graphite) as an anode. The further development of electrode materials will provide the sustainable and novel technologies for next generation Li-ion batteries in the future.

General info about Li-ion batteries

Cathode Reaction LiCoO2 ↔ 0.5Li+ + 0.5e + Li0.5CoO2
Anode Reaction C6 + Li+ + e ↔ LiC6
Fig. 1 The basic components and operation principle of Li-ion battery

Li-ion batteries (LIBs) have been widely used in many applications e.g., mobile phones, laptops, electric vehicles (EVs), and hybrid- electric vehicles (HEVs) due to their high energy densities (~100-170 Wh kg-1) and long cycle life. Among the transition metal oxides, LiMn2O4 is an attractive active material of the cathode of the LIBs due to its low cost, abundant source, environmentally friendliness, and high thermal stability. However, its low power density, poor electrical conductivity (~10-6 S cm-1), and slow ionic diffusion with its structure during charge/discharge process still hinder the performance of LiMn2O4 batteries. Consequently, the additive materials having both high electrical and ionic conductivity, large surface area, and short diffusion path can be used to overcome these drawbacks of the LiMn2O4.

Fig. 2 Energy demand of typical devices and electric vehicles.

Fig. 3 EVs in term of performance and Li-ion batteries properties.(Ref: V. Etacheri, R. Marom, R. Elazari, G. Salitra, D. Aurbach, Energy & Environmental Science 2011, 4, 3243-3262.)

The cathode electrode in LiMn2O4 battery typically consists of three types of materials which are active materials, conductive additives, and polymer binder. Up to now, about 10 wt.% of the conductive spherical carbon black additive was routinely used in the cathode without further development.

Fig. 4 Representative crystal structures of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries: (a) layered a-LiCoO2; (b) cubic LiMn2O4 spinel; (c) olivinestructured LiFePO4; (d) bII-Li2FeSiO4; and (e) tavorite-type LiFeSO4F. (Ref: M. S. Islam, C. A. Fisher, Chem Soc Rev 2014, 43, 185-204.)

In this work, commercial spherical carbon black nanoparticles (CN) namely EC300J (CN-1), Super P (CN-2), Denka (CN-3), and Ensaco (CN-4) as well as oxidized black carbon nanosheet (OCN) are employed as the conductive additive in the cathodes of Li-ion batteries. Owing to many advantages of CN, its nanostructures can shorten the ionic diffusion path by increasing the contact area between the electrode and electrolyte leading to the rapid reaction in the batteries. The OCN with oxygen-containing functional groups on its surface has high specific surface area and ionic conductivity while keeping its high electrical conductivity leading to the enhancement of the charge storage capacity of the LiMn2O4 battery. In addition to the LiMn2O4 cathode, the OCN is incorporated to other commercial and existing cathodes of the Li-ion batteries i.e., LiCoO2, LiNiMnCoO2 (NMC), and LiFePO4.

Fig. 5 Various carbon black conductive

Fig. 6 Various active materials a) LiMn2O4, b) LiCoO2, c) LiFePO4, and d) NMC.

The as-fabricated coin-cell batteries with a CR-2025 size using OCN as a conductive additive with 10 wt.% content in the LiMn2O4 cathodes exhibits a discharge specific capacity of 105.04 mAh g-1 at 0.1 C, which is 2.5-fold higher than that using the spherical CN as the conductive additive. Also, the OCN can significantly increase the charge storage performances of other batteries.



  • Sawangphruk, M.; Wutthiprom, J.; Phattharasupakun, N.; Chiochan, P.; Lithium Manganese Battery Using Oxidized Black Carbon Nanosheet as a Cathode. WO Patent App (1601000526).
  • Sawangphruk, M.; Wutthiprom, J.; Phattharasupakun, N.; Lithium Cobalt Oxide Battery Using Oxidized Black Carbon Nanosheet as a Cathode. WO Patent App (1601000851).
  • Sawangphruk, M.; Wutthiprom, J.; Phattharasupakun, N.; Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery Using Oxidized Black Carbon Nanosheet as a Cathode. WO Patent App (1601000852).
  • Sawangphruk, M.; Wutthiprom, J.; Phattharasupakun, N.; Lithium Manganese Nickel Cobalt Oxide Battery Using Oxidized Black Carbon Nanosheet as a Cathode. WO Patent App (1601000853).

Research Group Members:

Dr. Montree Sawangphruk (Assistant Professor)
Dr. Saran Kalasina (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Ms. Atiweena Krittayavathananon
Mr. Poramane Chiochan
Mr. Chan Tanggarnjanavalukul
Ms. Montakan Suksomboon
Mr. Nutthaphon Phattharasupakun
Ms. Juthaporn Wutthiprom
Ms. Siriroong Kaewruang
Mr. Jakkrit Khuntilo
Ms. Phansiri Suktha
Mr. Pawin Iamprasertkun
Mr. Tanut Pettong
Ms. Pichamon Sirisinudomkit

International Research Collaborator:

Prof. John S Foord
University of Oxford