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eCAIMAN Report Summary

Project ID: 653331
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - eCAIMAN (Electrolyte, Cathode and Anode Improvements for Market-near Next-generation Lithium Ion Batteries)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The project eCAIMAN addresses the Topic GV1-2014, Next generation of competitive lithium-ion batteries to meet customer expectations. The activities of eCAIMAN are tailored to the challenges addressed by the call topic:
Development of new materials, facilities, and technologies; scale-up for manufacturing in Europe; reduced cost; safety aspects; durability; recyclability; impact of hybridization.

The overall objective of eCAIMAN is to bring European expertise together to develop a battery cell that can be produced in Europe and meet the following demands:
energy density of Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) of ~270 Wh/kg; cost 200 €/kWh. This will be achieved by i) industrializing a 5V high- voltage spinel cathode material ii) industrializing a high- capacity composite anode material iii) industrializing a stable high- voltage electrolyte iv) producing Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 6 large scale automotive cells applying above materials and technology. The project will also: i) investigate the integration in light, passenger, and heavy duty vehicles ii) validate safety and reliability of the cells ii) support the development processes with advanced multiphysical modelling. In addition, the following “soft goals” are to be achieved: i) contribute to establishing a complete battery value chain in Europe ii) bringing European battery production to the level of global innovation leaders iii) provide inputs to update current regulations and standards for high voltage batteries, aiming for international standardization iv) raise market share of (PH)EVs through better and cheaper cells.

The value chain of automotive batteries consists of several essential links: raw material supply and component production; cell production; module design and assembly into the battery pack, integration into the vehicle, use during the lifetime of a vehicle; and eventually reuse and recycling. In eCAIMAN we aim to design competitive automotive batteries intended for production in Europe, for use by European OEMs.The innovations proposed in eCAIMAN center on incremental improvements along the entire value chain, from materials to successful manufacturing and scaling, including cells and module demonstrator.

The overall importance to society in improved lithium-ion batteries lies in the fact that batteries with adequate performance and acceptable cost can help the transition from combustion-engine-based transportation to electric-motor based transport. Provided the electric vehicles is derived from low/no-carbon sources, this shift can make a major contribution towards reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In this first half of the project, work in eCAIMAN has focused on the development of active materials (for cathode, anode, electrolyte) and on the cell engineering using these materials together with needed inactive materials.
Cathode:Multiple eCAIMAN-produced, doped/coated LNMOs are available. A pre-selection of samples has been made. The candidates are currently undergoing performance comparison for selection of the LNMO to use in the final eCAIMAN cell. First scale-up trials have been made.
Anode: An advanced graphite has been developed and selected for use in the final eCAIMAN cell. Tin dioxide material developments in the project are promising for further research.
Electrolyte: Based on iterative development and feedback from characterization and testing, a final electrolyte for use in the eCAIMAN cell has been developed. It is pending final adaptation depending on the choice of the other active materials.
Cell harmonization (cell engineering with active and inactive components): A large number of active and inactive material combinations and process/engineering parameters has been evaluated for the engineering of full cells. Valuable insights that will be applied in the final electrode and cell engineering have been gained. Causes of swelling for baseline cells have been investigated. Software modeling/simulation of materials interaction has begun.
Cell/module production: Baseline cells for reference/comparison have been produced. For the module, end-user requirements have been established and the design of the module has started. For electrode production, partial scale-up from laboratory to pilot scale has been tested.
Testing: Test procedures for cell and module testing are available (near-final, some parameters to be completed once final materials are ready). Baseline cells were tested; limited information for electro-thermal modelling obtained. Cooperation on testing has been agreed with the two other GV1 projects.
Dissemination: Dissemination materials are available and in use. eCAIMAN has been presented at a number of relevant events. Joint activities for workshops have been agreed with the two other GV1 projects.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Portable electronics nowadays are exclusively powered by Lithium Ion Batteries (LIB). The great success achieved by LIB technology is due to its high power and energy densities. This cutting edge technology is now dominant on the full electric vehicle (EV), hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and grid storage markets. However, until now it can only meet requirements for short-range utilization and reduces the EV market to urban applications due to low vehicle range. The LIB market is expected to double in the next four years to €18 billion in global revenue. Significant performance and cost improvements are also expected in LIB over the coming decade. Prices for complete automotive LIB packs are expected to drop significantly until 2025, while cycle life could increase significantly at the same time, potentially making plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles cost-competitive with traditional internal combustion engine vehicles on a total cost of ownership basis.

To further increase the energy density of a LIB, both cathode and anode materials with higher specific capacities and cathode materials with a higher voltage plateau are required. The majority of research efforts are focused on improvements of a positive electrode active material in LIB since materials – and specifically cathodes – play a critical role in battery performance and cost, and will affect the cost of LIBs in the future. Overall, the performance of the high-voltage spinel cathode is influenced by a variety of factors that depend on how it is synthesized and processed. LNMO as a material of the future is garnering interest for commercialization among major materials manufacturers and is becoming attractive for OEMs. In eCAIMAN the research approach to circumvent LNMO spinel issues and solve the existing problems is:
* improving the synthesis mode,
* developing suitable surface coatings with more stable material,
* reducing reactivity with the electrolyte,
* developing matching anode material.

To increase the cycle life of the anode without sacrificing its capacity, novel structured anode composites with capacities more than double that of the state of the art graphitic anode need to be developed. In eCAIMAN, along with the investigation on common graphite, carbon-metal composites will be developed; significant efforts will be focused on tin and its derivatives.

For electrolytes: by formulating a series of new, highly oxidation- stable solvent candidates and additives, the electrolytes can delay the onset of decomposition on a cathode surface until >5 V. In addition, the design of tailored electrolyte additives and the main electrolyte will be carried to support the full cells.

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