Car Modification

Tohoku, UCLA team advance 4V-class metal-free organic Lithium-ion batteries; croconic acid cathode

A joint investigation group from Tohoku University and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has made a significant progress in direction of high-voltage metallic-cost-free lithium-ion batteries by applying a little natural molecule: croconic acid. An open up-obtain paper on their work is printed in the journal Sophisticated Science.

In contrast to traditional lithium-ion batteries, which rely on products these types of as cobalt and lithium, organic batteries exploit by natural means abundant components this kind of as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. In addition, organic batteries have better theoretical capacities than traditional lithium-ion batteries mainly because their use of natural resources renders them light-weight.

Most claimed natural batteries to day, even so, possess a rather very low (1-3V) performing voltage. Growing organic and natural batteries’ voltage could lead to larger energy-density batteries.

Itaru Honma, a professor of chemistry at Tohoku University’s Institute of Multidisciplinary Analysis for Innovative Materials, Hiroaki Kobayashi, an assistant professor of chemistry at Tohoku University, and Yuto Katsuyama, a graduate scholar at UCLA, discovered that croconic acid, when used as a lithium-ion battery cathode substance, maintains a robust performing voltage of all over 4 V.

When natural and organic batteries have captivated wonderful attention thanks to their significant theoretical capacities, significant-voltage organic lively components (> 4 V vs Li/Li+) continue to be unexplored. Here, density purposeful theory calculations are merged with cyclic voltammetry measurements to investigate the electrochemistry of croconic acid (CA) for use as a lithium-ion battery cathode content in both dimethyl sulfoxide and γ-butyrolactone (GBL) electrolytes.

DFT calculations exhibit that CA dilitium salt (CA–Li2) has two enolate teams that undertake redox reactions over 4. V and a materials-amount theoretical strength density of 1949 Wh kg–1 for storing four lithium ions in GBL—exceeding the worth of each conventional inorganic and identified organic cathode materials.

Cyclic-voltammetry measurements expose a remarkably reversible redox response by the enolate team at ≈4 V in the two electrolytes. Battery-effectiveness checks of CA as lithium-ion battery cathode in GBL present two discharge voltage plateaus at 3.9 and 3.1 V, and a discharge capability of 102.2 mAh g–1 with no capacity loss just after five cycles. With the bigger discharge voltages in comparison to the known, point out-of-the-art organic and natural smaller molecules, CA claims to be a key cathode-material prospect for future substantial-energy-density lithium-ion organic and natural batteries.

—Katsuyama et al.

Croconic acid has five carbon atoms bonded to every single other in a pentagonal sort, and each and every of the carbons is bonded to oxygen. It also has a superior theoretical potential of 638.6 mAh/g, which is a lot bigger than the traditional lithium-ion battery cathode elements (LiCoO2 ~ 140 mAh/g).

We investigated the electrochemical behavior of croconic acid in the high-voltage range previously mentioned 3 V utilizing theoretical calculations and electrochemical experiments. We identified that croconic acid outlets lithium ions at about 4 V, giving a quite large theoretical power density of 1949 Wh/kg, which is much larger than most inorganic and natural and organic lithium-ion batteries.

—Hiroaki Kobayashi


Conceptual illustration of the work on croconic acid with multi-electron redox reaction at superior voltage > 3. V. Katsuyama et al.

Despite the fact that the theoretical capacity was not obtained in this research, the scientists are optimistic this can be improved by the enhancement of secure electrolytes at significant-voltage and chemical modifications to croconic acid.

Given that most electrolytes are unable to stand for this kind of a sturdy performing voltage of croconic acid, establishing new electrolytes is important. Moreover, the buildings of smaller organic and natural molecules, such as croconic acid, can be very easily modified. Ideal structural modification can stabilize the molecule, primary to higher ability and reversibility.


  • Yuto Katsuyama, Hiroaki Kobayashi, Kazuyuki Iwase, Yoshiyuki Gambe, Itaru Honma (2022) “Are Redox-Lively Natural Smaller Molecules Relevant for Superior-Voltage (>4 V) Lithium-ion Battery Cathodes?” State-of-the-art Science doi: 10.1002/advs.202200187

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