The expansion of electric vehicles is mostly limited by the low liability of the battery. Therefore, more research on a high-quality battery system is necessary.
In the LoCoTroP project, an innovative production technology for battery electrodes is developed using a dry coating process. If electrochemical performance remains the same, this results into a significant reduction of production costs due to lower investment costs for the production equipment and higher throughput speeds as well as the elimination of solvents in operation. The latter, as well as the considerable energy savings in the process due to the elimination of dryer operation of more than 50 percent, leads to a considerable saving of resources in cell production, to a reduction of environmental pollution and to simplified environmental approval procedures for battery factories. In addition, the space requirement of a coating plant is reduced to an average laboratory space by eliminating large and energy-intensive dryer lines from one workshop. Ultimately, the benefits of the new coating technology include a significant reduction in investment and operating costs for cell production and the associated chance of reducing the price of lithium-ion secondary batteries in order to achieve the Federal Government's targets by 2030.
In order to achieve the targeted reductions and implement the dry coating technology for the production of battery electrodes, three institutes are bundling their qualifications in the field of cell production in the joint project LoCoTroP. The TU Braunschweig (iPAT) will develop the process for dry mixing of the components. The application process for direct coating of the collector with electrode materials for anode and cathode without any solvents is advanced by the Fraunhofer IPA and transferred to the pilot plant scale. The verification of the electrode quality as well as the determination of optimization possibilities through detailed adjustments of the electrode structure is carried out by the Technology Centre Energy (TZ Energie) of the University of Applied Sciences Landshut (HAW Landshut).
The following main areas of work are essential for the realization of the dry coating process:
- Development of dry mixing and pre-fibrillation of binders
- Development of the application procedure for anode and cathode
- Verification of electrode quality and elaboration of a process quality property model
- Conversion of the application procedure into the continuous R2R process
- Cell construction and process validation