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Advanced material solutions for safer and long-lasting high capacity Cobalt Free Batteries for stationary storage applications

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CoFBAT (Advanced material solutions for safer and long-lasting high capacity Cobalt Free Batteries for stationary storage applications)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2021-04-30

CoFBAT is an EU project aiming at the development of a novel solution for battery storage technology, which will strengthen the EU competitiveness in advanced materials and the related battery value chain by developing a powerful battery technology with no cobalt in the cathode and safe polymer high voltage electrolytes combined with a reliable anode technology. The proposed Cofbat technology will allow to achieve long lifetime cells ( >10.000 cycles), low cost ( 0.03€/kWh/cycle) and improved safety being validated in large prismatic cells ESP-Cell 30 Ah. In addition, the CoFBAT battery concept will enable to achieve a high recycling efficiency (>50%).
CoFBAT will allow to transfer systems to hybrid electric vehicles and last but not least will reduce dependence of materials from countries outside EU and improving social impact by not using raw materials coming from child labour force.
The overall objectives of CoFBAT are:
Development of new battery cells, with Improved lifetime (>20 years), reduced costs down to 0.03 €/kWh/cycle, improved cyclability (up to ≥10,000 cycles) and improved safety
Testing and demonstrating of the new battery cells with respect to the targeted recyclability and LCA, cost below 300 euro/kwh at system level, demonstrated recycling efficiency of the battery cell above 50%.
Optimisation (from TRL 4 to TRL 6) of cobalt free high voltage cathode material based on LMNO, high voltage anode based on Si/C and TNO
Optimisation of (from TRL 4 to TRL 6) gel polymer stable at higher voltage and solvent free.
The main result of the first reporting period was preparing the requirements for non-automotive applications (Commercial & Industrial Energie Storage; RES – residential storage systems; AGV – Automated Guided Vehicles). This entailed providing KPI values for safety, lifetime and electrochemical performance and as consequence of specific electric capacity and volumetric capacity of materials, Furthermore, several dissemination activities have been achieved by the creation of a webpage, social media links and promotion of results through biannual newsletters, participation in two webinars and a congress participation. Last but not least, the first of three CoFBAT webinars was organized and resulted in the exchange of first results with external stakeholders.
In terms of materials, the project has advanced in developing/optimizing cobalt free cathode , safe polymer high voltage electrolytes combined with a reliable anode material. A gellifable polymer electrolyte based on high boiling points solvent has been developed.
In terms of material knowledge, the project has provided so far detailed characterization of the chemical and electrochemical stability of battery components and interfaces cycled at conditions fresh, half-life and end-of-life) and identify aging mechanisms.
COFBAT addresses advances beyond state or art in following areas:
Development and optimisation of materials :
In terms of cathode materials, CoFBAT has achieved production of LMNO, cobalt free with a capacity of 130 mAh/gr in combination with gelifable electrode, having been met the scope of 50% reduction in material cost and having been produced so far up to 20 kg (TRL6).In terms of anode materials, CoFBAT has achieved developing a cobalt free anode based on TNO produced by ceramic process, environmentally friendly process without generation of waste, cobalt free, powder with a specific capacity of 250 mAh/gr. In addition, CoFBAT has advanced in an alternative anode based on Si/C avoiding swelling with a capacity of 1200 mAh/gr, Progress towards the electrolyte has been achieved by supplying gellifable binder for electrode processing during the month 4 and developing a gellifable polymer electrolyte based on high boiling points solvents.
Interfaces between cathode/electrolyte and Anode/Electrolyte :
CoFBAT has advanced by development of strategies to characterize the interfacial characteristics adapted to gel electrolyte and identifying modes of failure before they occur in gel electrolyte.
Battery design and manufacturing:
Target of CoFBAT is to achieve the status of TLR 6 to enable a timely realization of mass production. At this moment of reporting full coin cells have been tested using GPE.
Battery recycling:
Within first 18 months recycling efficiency concept for the cell objective has been achieved at concept level studying the mass balance for the recycling efficiency and involved materials addressing a 80-90% for Al, Cu, Mn, Ni and over 56% for lithium. A recycling concept has been defined including safety measures dealing with halogens, electrolytes,
Modelling and testing :
CoFBAT will improve understanding of gel electrolyte and drive the development of the battery cell from material development to cell design and implement improved transport model of Li+ at the different interfaces.

Impact can be summarized in
Market impact: The technical improvements of CoFBAT (in energy density, life time, cost per cycle) wil positively allow to develop new energy storage systems that increase the flexibility of the grid, allow decentralized storage systems, opens market for residential photovoltaic installations to increase their independence from the utility company and minimize the CO2 footprint in industrial processes.
Based on the total cell cost, cobalt elimination already allows cost savings of about 20%. Furthermore, due to its higher average voltage the amount of lithium per Wh/kg is also significantly reduced (about 20-30% less lithium for equal cell energy compared to cells with NMC and NCA cathodes), so the total costs for the LNMO based battery cells can be reduced up to a total of about 25%
Technology impact: In addition CoFBAT submits 36 deliverables of which 20 are public supporting knowledge transfer.
Environmental impact :The CoFBAT project focus on more sustainable products, with a recycling efficiency beyond currently legal obligations, as established in the Batteries Directive (beyond 50%), and a demonstrated economic viability . Important step is reduction of the environmental footprint of the fabrication process by eliminating the use of the toxic solvent NMP (which is on the list of Substances of Very High Concern SVHC) and reducing the process expenses in terms of solvent recycling.The CoFBAT project has developed a recycling process in which the recycling efficiency is over 50 wt.%. Within first 18 months recycling efficiency concept for the cell objective has been defined
Social impacts: CoFBAT develops a cobalt-free battery cell, contributes strongly to the socially and environmentally strong impact of developing a new generation of batteries which will be less dependence on the geopolitical instable cobalt mines and on states outside the EU. Besides, it will ensure that no cobalt will be used which has been mined by (child) miners under (partly) inhuman conditions. In order to maximize impact, during the CoFBAT lifetime, it emphasizes the dissemination activities and Stakeholder engagement.CoFBAT has participated in INEA online workshop, hsa presented an online webinar about the project “Advanced materials for future battery chemistries” March 2021 to a group of selected Stakeholders.Dissemination of advances has been done by editing 6 monthly newsletter, updating public deliverables in webpage. CoFBAT presented the project in batteries event2020 at Lyon by a poster
CoFBAT KoM partners at Solvay