Technological Centre

CETIM, headquarters of the coordination meeting of the LION-HD consortium

CETIM, headquarters of the coordination meeting of the LION-HD consortium

The industrial research project on advanced lithium-ion batteries, scientifically coordinated by the Galician Technological Center, belongs to the Missions Program of the Centro de Desarrollo Tecnológico e Innovación (CDTI) in its Mission 2 concerning Sustainable and Intelligent Mobility.

The MISIONES LiOn-HD project begins the new year 2023 celebrating its second follow-up meeting of results obtained so far and coordination of the consortium. The meeting, held this morning in our facilities, has counted with the participation of the project leader, Ferroglobe Innovation, and all the partners: Química del Nalón, NANOKER, RIMSA, ABCR Labs, GRAPHENEA, CUANTUM Medical Cosmetics and HI IBERIA.

LiOn-HD is framed within the Mission 2 of Sustainable and Intelligent Mobility of the CDTI Missions Program. This program is the flagship of the institution, aimed at financing large strategic I+D initiatives in Spain, promoted by business groups in collaboration with technology centers, research organizations and universities.

We recall that LiOn-HD deals with industrial research on materials for lithium-ion batteries of high energy density and cost, optimizing sustainable electromobility. Its main objective is to significantly improve the energy density, cost and sustainability of lithium-ion batteries, with the development of silicon anodes as the main key of the project.

To this end, each project partner is working on industrial research on the synthesis between different materials and their interactions within battery cells, as well as on Artificial Intelligence tools for the simulation of materials and components. The consortium evaluates the advantages they bring in terms of energy efficiency of the electrolytic cell, costs and environmental impact, linking their competences.

Main keys of the project

In order to achieve the general objective, LiOn-HD consists of different research lines developed in collaboration by all the partners that form the consortium. The first of these lines consists of the research and evaluation of micro, sub-micro and nanosilicon as active materials for the anode, which is carried out by Ferroglobe Innovation with the support of CETIM.

In addition, the project partners are working on obtaining metallic graphite-carbide (NANOKER), focusing on the use of iron and manganese sulfides (RIMSA). To improve the properties of these active materials, they will be combined with graphitic and pre-graphitic materials (Química del Nalón) and with graphene oxides (Graphenea) to obtain composites.

Similarly, to complete the composition of the anode, the project is also looking for inactive materials such as binders based on polyacrylonitrile (RIMSA) and cyanoacrylates (CUANTUM), surface modifications based on organosilanes (ABCR Labs) and artificial SEI layers based on cyanoacrylates (CUANTUM), to reduce silicon expansion, charge loss in the first cycle and its degradation throughout its useful life. The materials are also being combined with each other to generate cells with better performance, and are being evaluated electrochemically.

Finally, with the aim of acting on the cathode, new cathode materials are being evaluated through the creation of effective and innovative artificial intelligence algorithms that will allow the definition of an exclusive set of cathode candidates, generating predictive cell design models that can be extrapolated to other cell components (HI Iberia).

CETIM, scientific coordinator of the project

LiOn-HD was born from the hand of Ferroglobe and CETIM to achieve the technical solutions that allow an advanced electromobility based on the use of silicon as active anode material in Li-ion batteries. The Technology Center located in A Coruña coordinates the project and participates by providing scientific support to several of the companies in the consortium, researching novel materials for different battery components: lithium-ion anodes based on nano and microsilicon, binders, electrolytes, etc.

In this line, CETIM develops conductive materials and coatings that allow the stabilization and mitigation of these effects when nanosilicon is used as anode material. Likewise, it collaborates in the design of new electrolytes to ensure the preservation of the integrity of the materials during their operation and uses polymeric binders seeking the integrity of the active materials studied in the anode.

Next steps

The most promising materials from each strategy and each LiOn-HD partner will be produced in sufficient quantities to be evaluated in complete button-type cells. With these, 1 Ah and 30 Ah cells will be developed, resulting in a final optimized 30 Ah cell with the best results. Based on the optimized cell, it will be evaluated technically, environmentally and economically. At present, CETIM is already progressing in the technical, environmental and economic study of the reference cell based on graphite and commercial components conventionally used today.

Thanks to the research carried out in LiOn-HD, great steps have been taken in the search for the optimization and profitability of the production processes, basing our study on obtaining higher energy yields, useful life and reliability, greater safety and environmental sustainability. Every day we are closer to intelligent mobility thanks to sustainable and climate-neutral technologies.

This project has been funded by the Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI)) in the framework of the call for the year 2019 of the MISSIONS Program (EXP – 00133395 / MIG-20201021. Mission 2) and has the support of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.