A new technology puts old tires to new use. A substance recovered from the tires called carbon black that's similar to graphite can be used as an anode in lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles and wind and solar energy storage.
A team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovered that modifying the microstructure of the carbon black obtained from old tires could lead to better anodes for lithium-ion batteries. This means better performing batteries and also preventing the environmental hazards of waste tire stock piles.
The team developed batteries based on this carbon black anode and found that they had a reversible capacity that is higher than that of batteries using commercial graphite.
Oak Ridge says, "In fact, after 100 cycles the capacity measures nearly 390 milliamp hours per gram of carbon anode, which exceeds the best properties of commercial graphite. Researchers attribute this to the unique microstructure of the tire-derived carbon."
The laboratory is working to license this technology and sees future use of these lithium-ion cells in automobiles, stationary storage, medical and military applications.