Biochar as a Renewable Substitute for Carbon Black in Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes

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American Chemical Society


Lignin-derived biochar was prepared and characterized towards potential applications as a conductive electrode additive and active lithium host material within lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). This biochar was specifically selected for its high electrical conductivity, which is comparable to that of common conductive carbon black standards (e.g., Super P). Owing to its high electrical conductivity, this biochar serves as an effective conductive additive within electrodes comprised of graphite as the active material, demonstrating slightly improved cell efficiency and rate capability over electrodes using carbon black as the additive. Despite its effectiveness as a conductive additive in LIB anodes, preliminary results show that the biochar developed in this work is not suitable as a direct replacement for carbon black as a conductive additive in LiFePO4 (LFP) cathodes. This latter insufficiency may be due to differences in particle 2 geometry between biochar and carbon black; further optimization is necessary to permit the application of biochar as a general-purpose conductive additive in LIBs. Nevertheless, these investigations combined with an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from biochar production show that replacing carbon black with biochar can be an effective method to improve the sustainability of LIBs.


This document is the unedited Author’s version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work see


Electrical conductivity, graphitic carbon, lignin-derived, biocarbon, anode, cathode, electrochemical energy storage, conductive additive


Kane, S., Storer, A., Xu, W., Ryan, C., & Stadie, N. P. (2022). Biochar as a Renewable Substitute for Carbon Black in Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 10(37), 12226-12233.
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