In this work, a mathematical model is reported and validated, which describes the performance of porous electrodes under low and high rates of discharge. This porous battery model can be used to provide researchers a better physical understanding relative to prior models of how cell morphology and materials affect performance due to improved accounting of how effective resistance change with morphology and materials. The increased understanding of cell resistances will enable improved design of cells for high-power applications, such as hybrid and plug-in-hybrid electric vehicles. It was found electronic and liquid-phase ionic transport resistances are strongly coupled to particle conductivity, size, and distribution of particle sizes. The accuracy of determining effective resistances was increased by accounting for how particle's size, volume fraction, and electronic conductivity affect electronic resistances and by more accurately determining how cell morphology influences effective liquid-phase transport resistances. These model additions are used to better understand the cause for decreased utilization of active materials for relatively highly loaded lithium-ion cathodes at high discharge rates. Lithium cobalt and ruthenium oxides were tested and modeled individually and together in mixed-oxide cathodes to understand how the superior material properties relative to each other can work together to reduce cell resistances while maximizing energy storage. It was found for lithium cobalt oxide, a material with low electronic conductivity, its low rate (1C) performance is dominated by local electronic resistances between particles. At high rates (5C or higher) diffusional resistance in the liquid electrolyte had the greatest influence on cell performance. It was found in the mixed-oxide system that the performance of lithium cobalt oxide was improved by decreasing its local electronic losses due to the addition of lithium ruthenium oxide, a highly conductive active material, which improved the number of electron pathways to lithium cobalt oxide thereby decreasing local electronic losses.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Chemical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





cathodes, electrochemical electrodes, lithium compounds, porous materials, reaction kinetics theory, secondary cells