Advantageously, the within this invention utilized sugar serves not only as a reduction agent to obtain CoO-particles starting from Co3O4, but serves furthermore as a carbon source to form a carbonaceous layer on the particles surface, thus inhibiting particle agglomeration upon thermal treatment and subsequent electrode preparation. Moreover, the carbon coating enhances the electrical conductivity of the resulting electrodes and buffers the volume expansion upon lithiation.
Commercial Opportunities: As sugar is an abundant and very cheap reduction agent, this technology can easily be integrated into an industrial production process. Compared to other processes this is a rather mild way of reduction. Therefore, the initial shape and size of the preliminary Co3O4 particles can be preserved.
The enhanced electric conductivity of the so obtained CoO-composite leads to an improved cycling stability of cells with electrodes prepared of such material.
Beside this, the process enables further reduction of cobalt oxide to elementary cobalt and can also be applied on other transition metals.
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Dipl.-Ing. Alfred Schillert
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