New process cuts lithium battery cost in half -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

New process cuts lithium battery cost in half -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, working with a spin-off company called 24M, have recently developed an advanced process for manufacturing lithium batteries, which is not only expected to significantly reduce production costs, but also improve battery performance and make it easier to recycle.

The existing lithium battery manufacturing method was invented 20 years ago, and is inefficient and cumbersome. Jiang Yeming (transliteration), professor of ceramic technology at MIT, co-founder of 24M Company, and one of the former founders of A123 Battery Company, and his colleagues proposed the concept of "flow battery" five years ago, using suspended particles with fine particles. The liquid acts as an electrode and is circulated in the battery by pumping. However, analysis shows that flow battery systems are suitable for low-energy-density batteries. For high-energy-density devices such as lithium batteries, it means an increase in cost.(Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment)

To this end, Jiang Yeming's team improved the design, and the new version is called a "semi-solid battery": the electrode material does not flow and is a colloidal suspension similar to a semi-solid. Unlike the standard process, which requires adding a liquid coating to a substrate material and then waiting for the material to dry before starting the next process, the new method keeps the electrode material in a liquid state and does not dry out at all, the Physicist Organization reported. The system reduces the number of layers and non-functional materials in traditional battery structures by 80% by using fewer but thicker electrodes.

Jiang Yeming said that the new process greatly simplifies the manufacturing process and can reduce production costs by half. The battery is flexible and more durable. It can be bent and folded and will not be damaged even if it is penetrated by bullets. This approach also allows for scale-up of production.

24M has already manufactured about 10,000 of these batteries on a prototype production line, most of which are being tested by three industrial partners, including an oil company in Thailand and Japanese heavy equipment manufacturer IHI Corporation. The new process has obtained 8 patents, and another 75 patents are under review.



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