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Sulfolane for Emerging Batteries

CP Chem Sulfolane Solvents 

High-purity sulfolane solvents from Chevron Phillips Chemical have potential applications in emerging battery solutions, most notably solid-state batteries. Solid-state batteries have the capability to replace traditional lithium batteries in applications, such as electric vehicles, that desire safer, faster charging, longer-lasting batteries. 

Sulfolane & Solid-State Batteries 

Solid-state batteries (SSBs) show immense promise as the next frontier in energy storage. Solid-state batteries offer several potential advantages over conventional lithium-ion batteries, including improved safety, increased energy density, and longer lifespan. However, one of the primary challenges in SSB development is finding suitable solid electrolytes that can conduct ions effectively while maintaining battery stability. Sulfolane, a sulfone solvent known for its excellent thermal and chemical stability, shows promise as a possible electrolyte candidate. 

Sulfolane has unique properties that make it an attractive electrolyte option in solid-state batteries. The high dielectric constant, low volatility, and electrochemical stability of sulfolane make the solvent well-suited for use in SSBs, where stability and conductivity are critical requirements. Sulfolane also demonstrates the ability to dissolve a variety of electrolyte salts, permitting the customization of electrolyte formulations for specific battery chemistries. 

Sulfolane’s compatibility with a wide variety of solid electrolyte materials gives it a key advantage in solid-state batteries. Unlike traditional liquid electrolytes that react with solid electrolyte interfaces (SEIs) and degrade battery performance over time, sulfolane-based electrolytes promote stable and uniform SEIs, thereby improving energy density and overall battery performance. 

Furthermore, sulfolane demonstrates exceptional ion conductivity, an important performance parameter for solid-state battery electrolytes. Sulfolane facilitates the transport of lithium ions within the battery cell, contributing to faster charge and discharge rates. Faster charging makes SSBs a more suitable technology for high-power applications like electric vehicles and grid storage. The high ion conductivity of sulfolane-based electrolytes also reduces the formation of dendrites, problematic growths that can short-circuit batteries and cause safety hazards. 

Sulfolane also has very high thermal stability, making the solvent ideal for solid-state batteries operating at high temperatures. Unlike traditional liquid electrolytes that vaporize and deteriorate at high temperatures, sulfolane-based electrolytes can withstand elevated temperatures without compromising battery performance or safety. The thermal stability of sulfolane expands the operating temperature range of SSBs, making them a suitable solution for batteries exposed to harsh and outdoor environments. 

Lastly, sulfolane’s low viscosity offers practical advantages to the manufacturing of solid-state batteries. The low viscosity of the solvent facilitates the impregnation of electrolytes into porous solid electrolyte scaffolds, allowing for the development of flexible and thin battery designs. This opens up new possibilities for SSBs, from wearable devices to large-scale energy storage systems. 


CP Chem Sulfolane Portfolio 

Chevron Phillips Chemical is a global leader in the manufacture of a variety of high-purity solvents, including high-purity sulfolane. CP Chem is committed to the quality and sustainability of their products, and is partnered with ChemPoint to deliver localized warehousing and reduced lead times to our customers. Below is the current Sulfolane portfolio from CP Chem. 


Chevron Phillips Chemical has also developed a low-water version of Sulfolane that is not yet commercialized. Contact us today to speak with a technical representative and request a sample. 

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