Graphite-based anodes represent the state-of-the-art in the current Li-ion battery technology.  However, the kinetic limitations of Li intercalation affect the overall cell performance during operation at relatively high charging rates or low-temperature. Due to the ever-growing market request of LiBs with fast-charging properties, especially for automotive applications, many efforts have been addressed to develop strategies for improving the charge performance at the different scale levels, from the active material to the electrode and cell level.  Natural graphite flakes are generally shaped to denser particles with spherical morphology for LiBs applications. The design of the graphite particles represents a strategical approach for minimizing kinetics limitations during lithium intercalation under demanding conditions. We studied how the shaping process of natural graphite flakes into nearly spherical particles during the so-called spheroidization influences the anode electrochemical properties. During the spheroidization, not only the particle morphology and density strictly depend on the applied spheroidization conditions, but also surface properties that directly affect the electrochemical performance in terms of lithium intercalation rate. We applied a lab-scale spheroidization process to natural graphite raw materials to get potato-shaped particles with different properties depending on the applied parameters.  The graphite samples are investigated from physical, chemical and electrochemical point of view. The impact of the spheroidization on the electrochemical properties is discussed in terms of electrode kinetics, fast-charge and low-temperature performance. We show the importance of tailoring the shaping process to control the graphite particle properties and discuss the most relevant parameters affecting the lithiation rate. The rational design during spheroidization is a suitable strategy for developing fast-charge lithium-ion batteries.
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Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the project Rondo (03XP0112E).