Lithium-ion batteries are important sources of renewable energy. The importance of lithium-ion batteries lies in their high energy density, reliability and sustainability. This makes them essential for modern life and the future of clean energy. Throughout this semester, the goal of my independent study was to determine means for the optimization of the lithium-ion battery through variable changes and testing. I facilitated the assembly and disassembly of the battery cells and was able to compile data to make observations about the performance of the battery cells. As such, I was able to determine oxygen as the optimal gas to flow through the cathode of the battery cell and a clear indication of the optimal direction of the microporous layer (MPL) facing the separator within the cell. As such, many other experiments were conducted to make observations about the performance of the batteries such as changing the electrolyte amount, MPL size and examining the hydrophilic nature of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) via application techniques. Overall, the independent study was successful in learning assembly and disassembly techniques and making predictions about the behavior of the cells. Additionally, experiments could be conducted to examine the effects of changing other factors on battery performance such as electrolyte concentration, external environments such as temperature and humidity, types of less hydrophobic MPL, sizes and shapes of the cathode flow channels, etc.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission