Gas Evolution at Graphite Anodes Depending on Electrolyte Water Content and SEI Quality Studied by On-Line Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry
R. Bernhard, M. Metzger,* and H. A. Gasteiger, “Gas Evolution at Graphite Anodes Depending on Electrolyte Water Content and SEI Quality Studied by On-Line Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry”, J. Electrochem. Soc., 162 (10), A1984-A1989 (2015), DOI: 10.1149/2.0191510jes.
The gas evolution during the formation of graphite electrodes is quantified by On-line Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry (OEMS) for dry electrolyte (< 20 ppm H2O) and 4000 ppm H2O containing electrolyte to mimic the effect of trace water during the formation process. While the formation in dry electrolyte mainly shows ethylene (C2H4) from the reduction of ethylene carbonate (EC) and small amounts of hydrogen (H2), the formation in water-containing electrolyte yields large amounts of H2 and considerable amounts of CO2 in addition to the expected C2H4 evolution. We could show that a protective solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer formed by pre-cycling the graphite electrode in 2% vinylene carbonate (VC) containing electrolyte can reduce the H2 evolution in water-containing electrolyte by a factor of 7.5 compared to a pristine graphite electrode. Consequently, the ability of graphite electrodes to form an SEI prevents excessive gassing from trace water, which, e.g., is observed for non-SEI forming lithium titanate (LTO) electrodes.