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Autonomous Polymer based Self-Healing Components for high performant LIBs

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BAT4EVER (Autonomous Polymer based Self-Healing Components for high performant LIBs)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2022-02-28

Electrochemical reactions in battery materials normally lead to structural changes, which may cause degradation and damage, and thus causing the loss of functionality of the battery with cycling. Next-generation electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries are especially prone to these failure mechanisms because they react with greater amounts of lithium and thus undergo more drastic structural changes.
BAT4EVER refers to microscopic self-healing of the micro-damages generated during repetitive charging/discharging processes at the Silicon anodes, NMC-based cathodes and electrolytes aiming a significantly improved charge-discharge cycle and calendar life of the Li-ion batteries.

These challenging tasks will be overcome by applying self-healing polymer coverage around Si-NPs on the anode side and by synthesizing core-shell structured and thus redox-stabilised cathode nano-particles that are embedded in M-ions and H-bonds induced polymers. Ionogel and covalent bonded gels will initiate curing ability to the electrolytes.
These battery component development acts will be supported with extensive use of material and structure characterisation methods and with atomistic modelling and cell simulation efforts.
The processing technologies will be transferred to the scaling team of the consortium for prototype manufacturing. The prototypes will be tested under varies environmental and in next-generation cell phones as a case study.
Core-shell structured NMC cathodes:
BAT4EVER has developed an NMC cathode, now analyzed and synthesized in terms of the structure, microstructure, composition and morphology of the core and shell of these NMC particles. The ex-situ microstructural characterization protocols are defined.

Self-healing components:
To be able to use Si anodes preventing micro-damages at the anodes and cathodes, and material loss at cathode composition, BAT4EVER coats the Si anodes with self-healable B-doped hydrogen bonded PANI/PVA polymers. Polymerisation-capable ionic liquids and self-healing electrolytes based on polymerized ionic liquids and ion gels are embedded.

Modelling & Simulation:
DFT modelling of Self Healing electrodes is developed. Parameterization protocols based on macroscale modelling are established.

Assembly and manufacturing of prototypes:
Cell manufacturing for benchmarking purposes has been started, where different parameters related to the electrode fabrication and cell assembly are being studied. The chemistry-specific know-how from this will be transferred to the self-healing components. Life Cycle Assessment studies have been started on 3 test scenarios.
Electrochemical batteries are important technological enablers to drive the transition towards a decarbonized society. Despite recent improvements in technical performance and economic affordability, battery cells and materials used still need substantial advancement on these areas to reach mass-utilization. However, the global race is indisputably headed by the Asian industry, followed by the Americans. Europe cannot afford to lag behind and miss the growth and employment opportunities of the de-carbonised energy transition. BAT4EVER partnership is representative of the existing potential of a solid European batteries value chain, which is based on collaboration between different states. The innovative technology proposed by BAT4EVER can substantially advance electrochemistries for battery storage, strengthen European batteries value chain, export our products and root employment growth.

European players along the battery supply chain are involved in the project, showing the industrial commitment to grasping this opportunity. The project will result in new advanced self-healing materials, cell components, battery cells applied to consumer electronics, offering better features and more competitive cycle life that will be exploited by participant industrial partners towards their respective upper link of the value chain. The main European industrial, research and policy platforms and other players along the value chain have expressed their full support to the project through the annexed Letters of Interest.

BAT4EVER will contribute to the expected impacts listed in the Work Programme and LC-BAT-14-2020 topic, as well as other impacts aligned with the objectives of BATTERY 2030+ Second Draft Roadmap: “To reach to enhance the lifetime and the safety of battery cells and systems goals, BATTERY 2030+ suggests two different and complementary schemes: development of sensors probing chemical and electrochemical reactions directly at battery cell level and enhancing performance of batteries by using self- healing functionalities within battery cells”. In the roadmap, self-healing activities within the field of batteries have been included largely.

Expected project impacts:
• Increased lifetime
• Increased capacity retention
• Wide operation temperature
• Fast charging
• Cost-effective system modelling
• Ab-initio identification
• Reduction in the use of critical materials