Skip to main content

Safe and Prelithiated hIgh energy DEnsity batteries based on sulphur Rocksalt and silicon chemistries

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SPIDER (Safe and Prelithiated hIgh energy DEnsity batteries based on sulphur Rocksalt and silicon chemistries)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-04-30

Demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is rapidly increasing and, according to the European Green Vehicle Initiative Association (EGVIA), a significant increase of acceptance of EVs can come only via further and significant cost reductions and limitations of disadvantages compared to other propulsion technologies such as driving range, durability, “re-fueling” time and safety.
Knowledge-based improvements of Li-ion battery cost, performance, recyclability and safety are thus needed to enable electric vehicles to rapidly gain market share. It will reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and air pollutants. Several SPIDER partners are identified by the European Battery Alliance as central and strategic for the creation of the needed European battery value chain. It will contribute to the development of a new, market competitive European battery cell chemistry and materials technology that will allow reduction of dependence from foreign supply, and build the knowledge base for creation of a competitive European automotive cell production.
The SPIDER project (H2020 Grant Agreement n° 814389) proposes a multidisciplinary approach to develop safe and long-lifetime, high energy density cells. This approach is based on new materials, improved chemistries, new industrially relevant manufacturing process steps and complimented by in-depth characterization, safety, modelling and Life-cycle-(cost) analysis studies.

SPIDER focuses on six main objectives:
- Increase cell energy density by 65% vs. State of the Art with non-critical, sustainable materials
- Reach power density of 800W/kg
- Reach 50% cost reduction for batteries by 2022
- Increase cycle life to 2000 cycles by 2022
- Increase cell safety by increasing thermal runaway temperature above 200°C and limiting the thermal energy dissipation to 4 kW/kg
- Develop a circular value chain for sustainable, recyclable (60 wt%) batteries in Europe.

SPIDER technologies will be implemented on 4 successive advanced Li-ion cell generations in which several concepts will be successively introduced: high capacity anode and cathode materials, prelithiation and advanced electrolyte formulations.
To this end, the project is organised in 8 work packages:
WP1 : End User Specifications
WP2: Prelithiation process development
WP3: Active materials development
WP4: Advanced safe electrolytes
WP5: Cell Manufacturing
WP6: Characterizations, modelling and tests (electrical and abusive)
WP7: Preparation of Market Entry within Circular value chain
WP8: Project and IP Management, Dissemination and Communication activities.
Since the beginning of the project, ten deliverables were submitted with among them 3 public deliverables: D3.1 “Report on the benchmarking of state of the art materials”, D8.2 “Data Management Plan” and D8.3 “Communication tools”.

The work performed comprises the definition of Li-ion cell specifications for the transport and stationary applications, study of second life application scenario and definition of SPIDER cell design. Prelithiation process development started in order to extend cycle life. Various prelithiation methods were studied: mechanical prelithiation with Li metal, addition of sacrificial salt or addition of Li metal powder. First results for mechanical prelithiation show that lithium was successfully introduced to the cell, the initial capacity loss in full cells could be reduced by 15% and the cycle life was increased by 5-7%. Replacing NMC622 with NMC811 can allow more than 10% increase in specific energy density (with graphite) and the capacity retention is similar with 95% after 300 cycles. In addition, replacing graphite with silicon composite allows for an initial increase in specific energy density of ~14%.

Over the first 16 months of the SPIDER project, WP3 worked on fixing all synthesis parameters for high capacity cathode material Li2TiS3. Only few publications deal about with this material, consequently, it is necessary to develop each synthesis process and characterisation setup. A large part of the work on high capacity anode Si-carbon composite was dedicated to supply material for Gen0 cell preparation. Development and optimisation of materials started.

During the M1-M16 period of the project, the most significant result in WP4 was the formulation of a benchmark electrolyte able to outperform the reference electrolyte with a gain of 20% in cycle life.

For WP5, most of the activity has been focused on the Gen0 [NMC811/Si-Carbon] cells manufacturing. In this sense, the preparation of Gen0 electrodes was carried out with the development of Si-Carbon composite slurry formulation and optimization and a cathode formulation screening of three different Ni-rich NMC811 commercial active materials.

Within WP6, an overview of all activities, their associated protocols and general planning have been prepared. However, due to COVID-19 , most experimental procedures have been delayed/postponed.

As for WP7, the most significant progress was the initiation and first phase of data collection from the SPIDER consortium for the environmental screening assessment and the relevant cost data selection. In addition, the preparation of the recycling process started.
EV sales are predicted to grow considerably in the upcoming years, but the final success of increased EV deployment will depend on four main criteria: autonomy, cost, life cycle and safety of the vehicle.
P-HEV, EV and E-buses will be powered by Li-ion (11 B$ in 2020 & 22 B$ in 2025). However, EV technology is still far from achieving the commercial success of internal combustion engine vehicles.

SPIDER aims to develop a next generation Li-ion battery with the potential to provide the technological progress that is necessary to accelerate the deployment rates of EVs. SPIDER developments are based on three main innovations :
- High capacity materials: By combining high energy active materials, SPIDER targets to reach 400 Wh/kg (+65% versus the state of the art) by the end of the project (or 450 Wh/kg by 2030).
- Prelithiation: SPIDER will implement a prelithiation step in the cell manufacturing process in order to achieve 2000 cycles at 50% DoD in EV and in total 5000 cycles considering also the second life with SPIDER batteries.
- Advanced electrolyte formulation: SPIDER will develop intrinsically safe liquid electrolyte formulations specifically designed for SPIDER chemistry and allowing (i)- Stabilized cycling of Si-Gr anode and (ii)- Low reactivity vs. the charged anode.

SPIDER also addresses characterization challenges, investigating phenomena and problems at the interfaces to then optimize SPIDER cells.

SPIDER will trigger the technological progress that is necessary to accelerate the deployment rates of electric vehicles (longer driving ranges, lower cost, etc.). The SPIDER Li-ion batteries are urgently needed for an increasing number of market segments with high energy and power density demand, as well as superior cycling, notably for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Regarding the socio-economical impacts, SPIDER batteries are expected to provide extremely flexible energy storage that can be used in all industries, especially in EVs, with markets worth billions of euros: a mass market could create 500,000 to 1.1 million net additional jobs in Europe by 2030 through innovations in the automotive sector. The partners all plan to hire new staff in order to exploit project results.