Issue 2, 2022

Liquid electrolyte development for low-temperature lithium-ion batteries


Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) power virtually all modern portable devices and electric vehicles, and their ubiquity continues to grow. With increasing applications, however, come increasing challenges, especially when operating conditions deviate from room temperature. While high-temperature performance and degradation has been extensively studied in LIBs, sub-zero Celsius performance has received less attention, despite being critical for batteries in transportation roles. Although many individual processes contribute to the capacity loss commonly observed in LIBs at low temperatures, most of them are governed to some extent by the non-aqueous liquid electrolyte present throughout the cell interior. Therefore, electrolyte engineering presents an unparalleled opportunity to study and address the fundamental causes of low-temperature failure. In this review, we first briefly cover the various processes that determine lithium-ion performance below 0 °C. Then, we outline recent literature on electrolyte-based strategies to improve said performance, including various additives, solvents and lithium salts. Finally, we summarize these findings and provide some perspectives on the current state of the field, including promising new areas of investigation.

Graphical abstract: Liquid electrolyte development for low-temperature lithium-ion batteries

Article information

Article type
Review Article
11 Jun 2021
10 Nov 2021
First published
14 Jan 2022
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Energy Environ. Sci., 2022,15, 550-578

Liquid electrolyte development for low-temperature lithium-ion batteries

D. Hubble, D. E. Brown, Y. Zhao, C. Fang, J. Lau, B. D. McCloskey and G. Liu, Energy Environ. Sci., 2022, 15, 550 DOI: 10.1039/D1EE01789F

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity