Cruising range is one of the greatest challenges for the rapid implementation of electromobility in Europe. Ten partners from industry and research organizations now join forces in the EU funded project ECO COM'BAT, coordinated by the Fraunhofer Project Group Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies, part of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, to develop the next generation of lithium-ion batteries – the high-voltage battery. Better performance is not the only goal for the new battery. Compared to conventional batteries the new type should be more powerful and even more sustainable due to the substitution of conventional, often expensive, rare or even critical materials.
Lithium-ion batteries are the preferred source of energy for electric vehicles and consumer devices owing to their high energy density and reliability. But expectations rise with green car sales and consumer devices grow more and more complex. Consumers ask a lot from a new battery: better safety, longer life spans, higher energy density, better performance and wider range.
The scientists teaming up in the project ECO COM'BAT („Ecological Composites for High-Efficient Li-Ion Batteries“) set out to develop a novel type of high-voltage battery. Their goal is to extend the range of electric vehicles, to shorten charging times, to reduce battery weight, to enhance stability and durability, and above all, to substitute critical or precious raw materials commonly used in conventional lithium-ion batteries.
Upscaling to production scale
In order to achieve all this at the same time, the project partners use innovative materials: low-cobalt NMC – short for lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide – serves as active electrode material. It provides the required energy density but contains approx. 20 percent less cobalt than conventional solutions. Carbon nanotubes and porous carbon serve as conductive additives.
They enhance the electrical conductivity of the electrodes and allow high energy densities. A special high-voltage electrolyte based on the conductive salt lithium-bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (LiFSI) serves as electrolyte which can be operated stably even at high voltages. An ion-conductive hybrid polymer coating protects the electrolyte materials and ensures safe and reliable use of the battery and a long lifespan.
The first task for the ECO COM'BAT team will be the upscaling of the processes required for the large-scale production of the new battery materials. The next step will then be the upscaling of the actual cell production to close-to-industry pilot scale and then to production scale. The challenge is to meet automotive standard requirements with energy and cost efficient production methods.
Efficient gentle recycling
A more widespread use of electric vehicles will invariably mean more waste batteries. To prevent problematic waste and also to recover precious materials like graphite, cobalt and lithium, new strategies must be developed to ensure efficient recycling. This begins with a design for recycling that allows to recover the contained materials to the best possible extent. To this effect, the researchers will also test innovative recycling processes.
Project partners and funding
The ECO COM'BAT project is supported by the EIT RawMaterials consortium of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology EIT. EIT RawMaterials, funded by the European Commission, is the world's largest and strongest consortium in the raw materials sector. Its vision is a European Union, where raw materials are a major strength. The task of the consortium is to strengthen the competitiveness, growth and attractiveness of the European raw material sector through radical innovation and entrepreneurship.
The innovative materials of the high-voltage battery will be provided by the industry partners Arkema, from France, and Umicore, from Belgium. The Fraunhofer ISC will be in charge of the required protective coating. Arkema and the Fraunhofer ISC will work together on upscaling of materials to pilot scale. The electrodes and cells will be manufacured by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), the German manufacturer Custom Cells Itzehoe and by the Fraunhofer R&D Center Electromobility Bavaria, part of the Fraunhofer ISC, according to specifications provided by the French battery maker SAFT. The analysis and characterization of materials, components and cells will be performed by the Technical University Darmstadt, the Spanish research organization CSIC, the Italian research organization ENEA, as well as the Fraunhofer ISC and its Project Group IWKS. All simulation processes will be done at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research VITO. The Fraunhofer Project Group IWKS will manage all tests on new recycling strategies.
Marie-Luise Righi | Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung ISC
Rochester scientists discover gene controlling genetic recombination rates
23.04.2018 | University of Rochester
One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News