The electrochemical performance of novel nano-silicon/biogas-derived carbon nanofibers composites (nSi/BCNFs) as anodes in lithium-ion batteries was investigated, focusing on composition and galvanostatic cycling conditions. The optimization of these variables contributes to reduce the stress associated with silicon lithiation/delithiation
by accommodating/controlling the volume changes, thus preventing anode degradation and therefore improving its performance regarding capacity and stability. Specific capacities up to 520 mAh g−1
with coulombic efficiency > 95% and 94% of capacity retention are achieved for nSi/BCNFs anodes at electric current density of 100/200 mA g−1
and low cutoff voltage of 80 mV. Among the BCNFs, those no-graphitized with fishbone microstructure, which have a great number of active sites to interact with nSi particles, are the best carbon matrices. Specifically, a nSi:BCNFs 1:1 weight ratio in the composite is the optimal, since it allows a compromise between a suitable specific capacity, which is higher than that of graphitic materials currently commercialized for LIBs, and an acceptable capacity retention along cycling. Low cutoff voltage in the 80–100 mV range is the most suitable for the cycling of nSi/BCNFs anodes because it avoids formation of the highest lithiated
) and therefore the complete silicon lithiation
, which leads to electrode damage.
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