Carbon Black (Conductive additive)

Carbon black is a type of conductive additive (CA) that is commonly used in lithium-ion batteries. It is a form of elemental carbon that has been processed to have a high surface area and a high degree of purity. Carbon black is often used as a conductive filler in lithium-ion battery electrodes to improve the electrical conductivity of the electrode material.

Conductive additives, like carbon black, are used in lithium-ion batteries to improve the electrical conductivity of the electrode material, which is important for the efficient transfer of electrons during the charging and discharging of the battery. By improving the electrical conductivity of the electrode material, conductive additives can help to increase the overall performance and efficiency of the battery.

In addition to carbon black, other types of conductive additives that are commonly used in lithium-ion batteries include acetylene black, carbon nanotubes and graphene. These additives are typically used in combination with a binder material, such as polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) or polyacrylonitrile (PAN), to form a composite electrode material.

The CA does not contribute to the electrochemical process of the cell but is required to lower the internal cell resistance and therefore to optimize the power density and specific power of the cell. With addition of CA to electrode there is no increase in energy while it ocuupies some space and gains weight, there is a tradeoff between the power and energy of the cell and it should be kept in mind when designing the cell. The amount of CA in energy cell can be zero if the power demand for the targeted application is low. The specific energy and energy density of the cell is optimized by keeping the respective amount and volume fraction of conductive carbon as low as possible. 

They are small in size in the range of 20-200 nm and looks like spherical colloidal particles with agglomerated structure. In comparison with graphite it has large surface to volume ratio, less crystalline and highly conductive. This complex configuration gives amorphous nature with quasi-graphitic structure. The surface area (BET) is in the range of 20 to 200 m2/g. Common example is lamp black but it has large quantities of byproducts and ash. The conductive additive used in lithium ion batteries should have minimum ash content.