As part of the joint project Li-EcoSafe, scientists from ZSW, DLR,HIU and the University of Ulm are working on the development of storage system concepts to make lithium-ion batteries safer, cheaper and more efficient. The project is being coordinated by ZSW, with funding granted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the “Excellent Battery Initiative”.
After three years of extensive work, three very promising concepts have been identified.
An innovative cobalt-free cathode material was developed, which has a significantly higher energy density with a comparable level of safety as compared to conventional materials. In addition, natural graphites were successfully refinedwith mechanical rounding processes, and graphite waste products were put to use as anode materials.
On the electrode side, lithium iron manganese phosphate (LFMP)and lithium manganese spinel (LMO)were combined to form innovative, high-performance, safe, nickel- and cobalt-free blended electrodes, whose loading behaviour even exceeded the theoretically calculated values. These synergistic effects were understood using mechanistic investigations, and a model was thenderived (see fig. below).
All three approaches improved performance while avoiding critical resources or energy-intensive processes. BMBF considered the project results from the first three years so promising that an extension of two years has now been granted. The goal during this second funding period will be to experimentally validate these three chosen approaches in battery cells.
For more information, please check the project web page: “Li-EcoSafe”