A Simple Method for Producing Bio-Based Anode Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries

William Sagues, Junghoon Yang, Nicholas Monroe, Sang-Don Han, Todd Vinzant, Matthew Yung, Hasan Jameel, Mark Nimlos, Sunkyu Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus Citations


A simple and scalable method for producing graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries is developed and demonstrated. A low-cost, earth abundant iron powder is used to catalyze the conversion of softwood, hardwood, cellulose, glucose, organosolv lignin, and hydrolysis lignin biomaterials to crystalline graphite at relatively low temperatures (<1200 °C). Biographite materials are characterized and compared based on graphite mass yield, graphite crystallite size, degree of graphitization, graphite uniformity, iron catalyst distribution, and graphite morphology. Particle size, heating method, and intermediate liquid phase formation, among other factors, play important roles in the graphitization process. Molten eutectic iron carbides solubilize disordered carbon and precipitate graphite platelets of crystallite size comparable to commercial graphite. Softwood-derived biographite is of the highest quality and demonstrates excellent electrochemical performance as anode material in a lithium-ion coin cell with 89% capacity retention over 100 cycles and > 99% coulombic efficiency.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)7093-7108
Number of pages16
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-78491


  • graphite anode material
  • lignin materials
  • lithium ion batteries


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