For more than 30 years, Orion carbon black (formally Degussa carbon black) has been a component material of the expander mixtures that are traditionally added to the negative plates of lead–acid batteries. The main functions of carbon black in standard SLI batteries are to provide colouring and a certain degree of conductivity. During past 10 years, the significantly growing demand for automotive micro-hybrid (‘start–stop’) batteries as well as batteries for stationary energy storage requires practical cycle-lives under high rate partial-state-of-charge (HRPSoC) duty. Numerous academic and industrial efforts have shown that the dynamic charge-acceptance (DCA) and the cycle-life performance of a lead–acid batteries under such conditions can both be markedly improved by adding extra carbon black (1–2 wt.%) to the negative electrode. On the other hand, water loss from the battery (due to hydrogen evolution at the negative electrode during the charge process) becomes more pronounced with the increased content of carbon black. The presentation provides details of conductive carbon black grades that have been recently developed by Orion and that have special benefits for advanced applications of lead–acid batteries. The unique treatment technology provides functional groups on the conductive surfaces of the carbon blacks s and thereby suppresses hydrogen evolution during the battery charging. Test on 2-V cells with individual additions of new XPB 560, XPB 593 and XPB 566 grades of carbon black have demonstrated superior DCA performance, cycle-life and water loss control compared with untreated (standard) cells.
Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH
Head of Energy Systems - Innovation
Wei Wei has a PhD from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. He is presently the Head of Energy Systems-Innovation at Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH. Wei has global responsibility for the fundamental research and product development of advanced carbon blacks for various energy-related applications. This work is primarily dedicated to advancing the performance of lead–acid and lithium-ion batteries.