A report describes a study of electrolyte compositions selected as candidates for improving the low-temperature performances of primary electrochemical cells that contain lithium anodes and fluorinated carbonaceous (CFx) cathodes. This study complements the developments reported in “Additive for Low-Temperature Operation of Li-(CF)n Cells” (NPO-43579) and Li/CFx Cells Optimized for Low-Temperature Operation (NPO-43585), which appear elsewhere in this issue of NASA Tech Briefs.

Similar to lithium-based electrolytes described in several previous NASA Tech Briefs articles, each of these electrolytes consisted of a lithium salt dissolved in a nonaqueous solvent mixture. Each such mixture consisted of two or more of the following ingredients: propylene carbonate (PC); 1,2-dimethoxyethane (DME); trifluoropropylene carbonate; bis(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl) ether; diethyl carbonate; dimethyl carbonate; and ethyl methyl carbonate. The report describes the physical and chemical principles underlying the selection of the compositions (which were not optimized) and presents results of preliminary tests made to determine effects of the compositions upon the low-temperature capabilities of Li-CFx cells, relative to a baseline composition of LiBF4 at a concentration of 1.0 M in a solvent comprising equal volume parts of PC and DME.

This work was done by Marshall C. Smart, Jay F. Whitacre, and Ratnakumar V. Bugga of Caltech; and G. K. Surya Prakash, Pooja Bhalla, and Kiah Smith of the Loker Hydrocarbon Institute at the University of Southern California for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

Innovative Technology Assets Management
Mail Stop 202-233
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109-8099
(818) 354-2240
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Refer to NPO-43587, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Electrolytes for Low-Temperature Operation of Li-CFx Cells

(reference NPO-43587) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

Don't have an account? Sign up here.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the July, 2009 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

Read more articles from this issue here.

Read more articles from the archives here.