Tesla Filed a Patent to Improve the Chemistry of Energy Storage Devices, Likely Related to 4680 Cells

Eva Fox by Eva Fox September 05, 2021

Tesla Filed a Patent to Improve the Chemistry of Energy Storage Devices, Likely Related to 4680 Cells

Image: Tesla

Tesla has filed a patent for "Difluorophosphate additive compounds and methods thereof for use in energy storage devices" which refers to improving battery chemistry in energy storage devices, which probably applies to its 4680 cells. The aim of the invention is to develop an electrolyte that will improve the performance of batteries while reducing their cost.

The battery is of course a key part of any electric vehicle or energy storage system. Tesla has achieved significant success in selecting suppliers and working closely with them to have the very best battery cells. However, in September 2020, the company announced its plans to create a new battery cell. With the new 4680 batteries, the company strives to solve a wide variety of problems, aiming to provide maximum performance while reducing manufacturing costs. The company seeks to improve battery chemistry to create cheaper battery cells that will result in lower product costs for the end user.

Tesla has filed a patent "Difluorophosphate additive compounds and methods thereof for use in energy storage devices."

File date: February 25, 2021
Publication date: September 2, 2021

In the patent, the manufacturer explains that some lithium-ion electrolyte solutions include one or more chemical additives. Electrolyte additives are introduced into the electrolyte solution on the order of just a few weight percent and may affect the lifetime, safety, and performance of a cell. Some classes of electrolyte additives include cyclic carbonates, organic sulfates and sulfonates, Lewis adducts, alkyl-substituted phosphites and phosphates, and uncommon heterocycles. Another class of additives is lithium salts, including lithium difluorophosphate (LEO). However, because LEO is also a relatively expensive additive it is desirable to identify lower cost alternatives. Therefore, the development of new electrolyte additives and additive combinations may improve lithium-ion energy cells.

The invention describes that the energy storage device includes an anode, a cathode, a housing, and an electrolyte comprising a lithium salt, a solvent, and a difluorophosphate additive containing sodium difluorophosphate (NaFO), where the anode, cathode, and electrolyte are positioned within the housing. In addition, in some embodiments, the difluorophosphate additive further comprises an additional difluorophosphate additive selected from the group consisting of lithium difluorophosphate (LFO), ammonium difluorophosphate (AFO), tetramethylammonium difluorophosphate (MAFO), potassium difluorophosphate thereof (KFO), and combinations. In some cases, the difluorophosphate additive further comprises an additional difluorophosphate additive selected from the group consisting of ammonium difluorophosphate (AFO), tetramethylammonium difluorophosphate (MAFO), potassium difluorophosphate (KFO), and combinations thereof. In other cases, the additional difluorophosphate additive does not comprise lithium difluorophosphate (LFO).

These improvements will lead to changes in the performance of the battery cells while reducing the cost of their production. This is the company's goal as it will help make electric vehicles more affordable for consumers.

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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter






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