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ANODE MATERIAL Better anode material for lithium-ion batteries

Editor: Jochen Schwab

It is expected to be market-ready by 2023: Anode material for lithium ion batteries, leading to more powerful energy storage systems. The material has already been tested in the laboratories of the Center for Nanointegration (CENIDE) at the UDE.

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Amorphous silicon/carbon particles (image taken by transmission electron microscope).
Amorphous silicon/carbon particles (image taken by transmission electron microscope).
(Source: © UDE/Orthner)

Since September 1, the German Federal Ministry of Economics is funding UDE with almost 1.7 million Euro to further develop the synthesis process in a joint project with Evonik and transfer it to industrial scale.

To date, graphite is used as the anode material in lithium-ion batteries, but its storage capacity and ability for rapid charging have almost reached the limit. A promising alternative was developed by UDE and Evonik in the synthesis facilities of the NanoEnergieTechnikZentrum (NETZ) at the Duisburg campus: The composite of carbon and silicon has a much higher capacity in the same volume, long-term stability and can be charged fast. "No project partner knows of anything comparable," says Prof. Dr. Hartmut Wiggers, expert for the gas phase synthesis of nanomaterials. The composite easily provides the capacity of 1.5 Ah/g that industry is looking for.

The manufacturing and processing methods – already established in the laboratory – will now be developed and transferred to the industrial scale. Two further groups, led by Prof. Doris Segets and Prof. Andreas Kempf, are involved in this project. Together, they cover topics related to process design, particle characterization and modeling as well as particle processing into pastes and printing of the anode material on copper foil.

Evonik uses the flow models and the experiments of the UDE experts for its own industrial-scale pilot plant. "Our first goal is to ensure the correct composition and shape of the particles at the industrial scale. This will allow us to offer our customers tailor-made solutions“, explains Dr. Julia Lyubina, the project lead at Evonik.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding the joint project "HOSALIB - High-performance silicon-carbon composite as anode material for lithium-ion batteries" for three years with a total amount of 2.3 million Euro (grant number 03EI3027 A/B).

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