Trinseo | Optimizing Performance for a More Sustainable Battery
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Thought Leadership

May 16, 2022

Optimizing Performance for a More Sustainable Battery

David Zhu, Global Battery Business Manager

As consumers and corporations alike continue to focus on sustainable solutions, such as renewable energy sources, the need for efficient stationary energy storage system (ESS) batteries only increases. Lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries improve storage efficiency compared to previous battery types prior to distributing energy into the power grid.

Latex binders, which Trinseo manufactures, ensure performance remains optimized in li-ion batteries, allowing communities everywhere to utilize sustainable energy.

Traditional ESS Batteries

Many renewable energy sources, including wind and solar energy, are excellent sources of sustainable energy but require specialized storage prior to distributing power over the electrical grid as differing weather patterns and time day can cause inconsistent output.

Traditionally, lead acid batteries were used as ESS batteries to store energy collected from these sources. However, lead battery production causes increased environmental pollution and requires significant storage space due to their low energy density.

Li-ion batteries have been accepted across the industry as the preferred solution, as they improve storage efficiency, battery performance and are a more sustainable battery.

Latex Binders in Li-ion ESS Batteries

While latex binders only compose less than 1% of a li-ion battery’s weight, they support a variety of essential functions that optimize a battery’s performance and lengthen its lifespan.

Latex binders are critical to improving the service life of batteries. Necessary continual charging and recharging of an ESS battery causes its anode to swell and shrink. Latex binders bind the graphite and conductive agent powder onto the current copper collector as the anode fluctuates. By binding the components together, latex binders lengthen the life span of li-ion batteries and reduce the need of frequent replacement.

While reducing the need to replace ESS batteries can improve sustainability efforts, ESS batteries must also store energy safely and efficiently to ensure renewable sources remain a viable source of energy. Trinseo’s latex binders enable li-ion ESS batteries to safely and effectively function in a variety of settings. Historically, ESS batteries lost functionality in extreme weather conditions. However, the latex binders within today’s li-ion batteries can maintain strong performance in both low and high temperatures, a crucial performance property to ensure proper energy storage. This means li-ion ESS batteries can be used in an array of settings – from a scorching desert to a humid coastline, enabling the use of sustainable energy sources nearly anywhere.

Latex binders optimize energy storage in li-ion batteries used for energy storage while increasing their lifespan. Trinseo is proud to manufacture latex binders that support storage needs for renewable energy sources. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to research and develop products, like latex binders, that enhance energy applications to further sustainability.