Sand/carbon composites as low-cost lithium storage materials with superior electrochemical performance
Sand is one of the most abundant resources on the earth. Desert sand and the low-cost polymer polystyrene are used as raw materials to prepare sand/carbon composites for lithium storage using a low-cost and facile method. The electrochemical performance of sand is significantly improved by introducing PS-derived carbon frames. The sand/carbon composite shows a high reversible capacity of 555 mA h g−1 at 100 mA g−1 and superior cycling stability over 200 cycles. For the sand/carbon composites, the sand particles are linked with neighboring ones via carbon frames, increasing the electronic and ionic conductivity and alleviating the volume expansion/contraction during cycling. The unique microstructure is the main reason for the superior electrochemical performance of the sand/carbon composites. This work has developed a facile method to prepare anode materials for lithium ion batteries from natural sand and low-cost polymers.