Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Chemical and Paper Engineering

First Advisor

James Springstead

Second Advisor

Qingliu Wu


This project examines the application of various binders in the anodes of silicon-carbon (Si/C) Li-ion batteries from two different angles. The binders being examined are lithium-substituted polyacrylic acid (LiPAA), carboxymethyl cellulose with styrene butadiene rubber (CMC/SBR), and a mixture of polyacrylic acid (PAA) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), overall called PAA/PVP. The first phase of this project takes place in the lab, mixing each type of slurry, coating it onto copper foil, and drying and punching out anodes. Coin cells are then built containing these anodes and put through a series of tests. Their specific capacities, resistances, rates of recharge, and battery life are being compared. From this data, which will be received between the submissions of the rough and final drafts of this report, a binder will be determined to be the most effective. Phase two of the project involved scaling up this process to produce 10,000 cells with a capacity of 2 Ah each per month. Using specific capacity and solid content, the material energy requirements were calculated to create the coating and operate the necessary equipment. Utility and equipment costs were also calculated, and a cash flow table analysis was conducted to determine the profitability of each type of battery. After initial economic analysis the CMC/SBR battery has the highest internal rate of return (1.42 IRR, 0.61 yr PBP), but these cells failed at a higher rate in the lab, and this group therefore recommends the LiPAA binder (1.40 IRR, 0.62 yr PBP). The group concluded that the troubles encountered in lab with the failure of multiple CMC/SBR cells outweighs the potential profits to be made utilizing that binder, and the LiPAA binder is similar in profit potential with a much higher success rate for cells.


Co-authored with:

Sarah Beasley

Joel Carpenter

Jake Heinrikson

Derek Ronayne

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted