Researchers have developed a way to use waste silicon from microchip production in battery manufacturing.
During the manufacturing of silicon wafers, as much as 50 percent of the silicon material is discarded as waste, called ‘silicon sawdust.’
To make use of that valuable silicon, a team from Tohoku University and Osaka University developed a technique to turn it into anodes for lithium-ion batteries. The process involves first washing the silicon dust to remove impurities, then pulverizing it into silicon nanoflakes using a bead milling procedure. A final carbon coating improves the silicon’s ability to charge and discharge.
According to the team, a half-cell of the material performed three times better than a conventional graphite anode, and the anodes are relatively inexpensive to produce.
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