The Netherlands develops new lithium battery technology to increase battery capacity by 50%

by:CTECHi     2021-07-23

The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) has developed a new lithium battery energy storage technology, which is said to increase the storage capacity of rechargeable batteries by 50%.

In order to commercialize this new invention, ECN also established a startup company-LeydenJarTechnologies.

This technology uses pure silicon anodes instead of graphite anodes traditionally used in lithium-ion batteries, thereby increasing the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries by 10 times. The storage capacity has increased by 50%. However, the problem with the use of silicon crystals is that they expand when the battery is charged, which increases the size of the component by three times, which may make the silicon layer brittle and cause the battery material to crack.

ECN uses plasma-based nanotechnology to arrange silicon pillars on copper foil to create enough space for possible expansion and allow the battery to be maintained stable. For commercial applications, this silicon layer ultimately needs to be as thin as about 10 microns, which is almost 10 times thinner than a piece of paper.

ECN researcher WimSoppe has been exploring this material since he started developing thin-film solar cells 12 years ago. He said, 'For solar cells, this material is not stable, but we have found that this technology has great potential for lithium-ion batteries.'

ECN's SjoerdWittkampf, manager of technology transfer, said that the whole world is investing heavily in research, hoping to further improve lithium-ion batteries. 'In this regard, major breakthroughs are released almost every few weeks. These new discoveries usually focus on materials that can only be produced on a small scale in a laboratory environment.'

'The reason why ECN's development results are so promising is that the technology for mass production of this material is close at hand, because it is similar to the current production process for solar cells. We think this will help To bring us unique advantages. After the establishment of LeydenJarTechnologies, we will transfer this technology, and finally make it on the market, seeking the best fit between the battery industry and venture capitalists (VC).

LeydenJarTechnologies co-founder ChrisTIanRood said, “Due to the widespread use of lithium-ion batteries, the newly established company will focus on three main market areas, namely electric vehicles (EV), consumer electronics, and Renewable energy storage. '

'The goal is to provide technology for large battery manufacturers. In the future demonstration plant, we hope to produce silicon anodes for the first batch of customers and demonstrate the competitiveness of this technology in mass production. '

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