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Innovative 3D electro-printing method to improve power, capacity and safety of lithium ion-batteries

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Addionics (Innovative 3D electro-printing method to improve power, capacity and safety of lithium ion-batteries)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2019-11-30

Electric Vehicles (EVs) offer the most likely solution to reducing the environmental impact of transport in the EU, however, their full potential has not been achieved mainly because the performance of current EV battery technologies is not comparable with that of petrol/diesel engines. This is largely due to long charging times, insufficient battery capacity for long distance travel, maximum travel distances highly affected by the environmental conditions, limited life span and high cost for customized battery manufacturing. A large amount of investment has been poured into the improvement of the chemistry of EV batteries to overcome these limitations, however, the major limitation can instead be found in the physical architecture of the battery. The 2D architecture of the lithium-ion battery (LiB) severely limits battery performance by restricting electron diffusion and reducing the speed and magnitude of energy delivered by the battery. It also imposes a high internal resistance, resulting in major performance limitations and enhanced degradation pathways within the battery. 2D batteries cannot be built thicker to increase capacity, and 2D batteries with large loads suffer from issues with heat dissipation. Until this fundamental issue with the battery architecture can be overcome, LiBs will not improve sufficiently to enable true electromobility. Addionics have developed a paradigm-shifting 3D battery architecture that significantly improves battery performance regardless of the battery chemistry. The innovation centres on the ability to produce 3D electrode components (current collectors) through a proprietary 3D electro-printing process based on advanced, cost-effective electrodeposition techniques. The technology provides batteries with higher performance than current batteries, based on 2D structures, improves the performance irrespective of the battery chemistry, is a competitive and cost-effective solution, represents a drop-in solution for any manufacturing site (gigafactory compatible), and results in a faster time to market for customised battery designs. The overall objective is to introduce Addionics 3D battery technology into the market, solving a major challenge in the EV industry.
During the project, Addionics have fully reviewed the development stage of the technology and produced a detailed product development plan for the next 2 years. Addionics assessed the market in detail and updated the commercialization strategy. The company also approached a number of battery manufacturers and secured support for the next stages of the innovation project. Addionics also thoroughly analysed the business models available to the company and built a detailed financial model for the next 5 years. The Phase 1 project has informed the R&D/Product Development strategy, the industrialization plan, and the fundraising targets to reach break-even.
Addionics’ solution is the only scalable and customizable battery fabrication technology capable of overcoming the physical limitations imposed by ubiquitous 2D battery architecture. Addionics batteries present a higher power output, higher battery capacity, reduced charging time and lower degradation rate than conventional 2D batteries. This technology can be integrated into any battery factory as a “drop-in” solution using the equipment available in the current production lines. This is unlike other technologies in the pipeline, which require significant alterations of the existing manufacturing lines with associated increased costs. The introduction of the technology is expected to have a wide-ranging socio-economic impact, including decarbonisation of the energy and mobility sector, reduction of transport pollution in the EU, improved air quality in urban areas, reduced material waste and recycling costs due to longer battery life, and reduction in cost of ownership of EVs.