Tensorial effective transport properties of Li-ion battery separators elucidated by computational multiscale modeling

Mingzhao Zhuo*, Davide Grazioli, Angelo Simone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Existing battery modeling works have limitations in addressing the dependence of transport properties on local field variations and characterizing the response of anisotropic media. These limitations are tackled by means of a nested finite element (FE2) multiscale framework in which microscale simulations are employed to comprehensively characterize an anisotropic medium (macroscale). The approach is applied to the numerical simulation of transport processes in lithium ion battery separators. From the microscale solution, homogenized fluxes and their dependence on the downscaled macroscale variables are upscaled, thereby replacing otherwise assumed macroscale constitutive laws. The tensorial nature of macroscale effective transport properties stems from the numerical treatment. The proposed approach is verified against full-scale simulations. Several numerical examples are used to demonstrate the perils associated with accepted procedures, leading in some cases to severe discrepancies in the prediction of field quantities (from differences in the potential drop across the separator of about 27% for a fixed microstructure to more than 100% in the case of an evolving microstructure). Despite the use of simplified assumptions (e.g., synthetic microstructures), the numerical results demonstrate the importance of a tensorial description of transport properties in the modeling of battery processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139045
Number of pages16
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Computational homogenization
  • Concentration-dependent transport property
  • Ionic transport in lithium ion battery separators
  • Multiscale battery component modeling
  • Time-evolving microstructure


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