Casein from bovine milk as a binder for silicon based electrodes

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Silicon is a promising anode material for lithium ion batteries due to the high theoretical capacity (∼3600mAh/g). However, silicon-based electrodes face rapid degradation due to the extensive volume variation (∼300%) during the lithiation/delithiation process. Binders used in the electrode fabrication play a crucial role for silicon electrodes since it can reduce the mechanical fracture during the cycling process. Recent investigations suggest that in addition to the importance of the mechanical properties of the binder, the chemical reactions between the binder and the surface of the silicon particles also contribute to stabilization. Further investigations suggest that functionalized small molecules can also modify the surface of silicon particles and stabilize cycling. An inexpensive, environmentally friendly alternative has been investigated as a binder for silicon electrodes. Casein is a milk protein found in bovine milk rich in amine groups and carboxylic acid groups which can form bonds with the silanol groups in silicon. A comparative study conducted between PVDF and Casein as binders have shown that when casein was used as binder, it shows better performance compared to PVDF. Surface morphology and solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) was analyzed using electron microscopy techniques and spectroscopic methods and the results will be discussed.

Publication Title

Journal of the Electrochemical Society