PEM Researches Industrial Production Processes for Solid-State Batteries
In the "OptiKeraLyt" project, the "Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components" (PEM) chair of RWTH Aachen University is working on industrial processes for the production of battery cells with ceramic solid-state electrolytes. With numerous partners from research and industry, the PEM team wants to achieve a significant increase in gravimetric energy density as well as safety compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. However, so-called solid-state battery cells are still a long way from commercialization, mainly due to a lack of processes and materials tailored to them.
Solid-state battery technology: Testing its competitiveness
To overcome material incompatibilities during the indispensable high-temperature sintering step, the "OptiKeraLyt" players are to develop new manufacturing processes. The focus is on two laser-based methods and a handling process. For mechanical stacking, electrical contacting and subsequent packaging of the battery, several layer composites consisting of a mixed cathode and ceramic electrolyte as well as the anode must be suitably handled in an inert atmosphere. In contrast to button cells usually found in laboratories, this only results in battery cells that are relevant for industrial applications. In addition to the development of suitable materials, the main focus is on scalable manufacturing processes. These are to be optimized with regard to their production parameters in order to investigate the solid-state battery technology in terms of its technical and economic competitiveness with the conventional lithium-ion battery.
Development of new batteries instead of direct competition with Asian market
The background to the project is that the battery, with its parameters of range, service life and safety, is largely responsible for the cost of electric vehicles. The expertise for mass production of conventional lithium-ion battery systems is very predominantly located with the numerous producers from the Asian region. For this reason, it is now considered economically more promising for Europe and Germany to build up know-how in the area of future battery generations at an early stage and to incorporate this into local production. From a technical point of view, the lithium ion conductivity of solid oxide electrolytes is lower than that of conventional liquid electrolytes. This necessitates a thin film design, which is why suitable ceramic solid electrolytes are currently being developed and manufactured. In order to also reduce the internal resistance of the battery in industrially produced cells, the solid-state electrolytes are being optimized specifically with a view to processing using thin-film technologies.
- "OptiKeraLyt": Material and production process optimization for lithium-ion batteries with ceramic solid state electrolytes
- Overcoming material incompatibilities of the high-temperature sintering step through new laser-based and handling processes
- Development of scalable manufacturing processes
- Investigation of solid-state battery technology for its technical and economic competitiveness with the conventional lithium-ion battery
Research and project partners
PEM of RWTH Aachen University
Institute of Energy and Climate Research: Materials Synthesis and Processing (IEK-1) (Forschungszentrum Jülich)
Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT)
Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU) for Electrochemical Energy Storage
Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE)
LIMO GmbH (Focuslight Technologies Inc.)
Jonas & Redmann Group GmbH
- 01/01/2019 through 06/30/2022