Workstream 1: Raw and Advanced Materials

WS 1 addresses the needs from cell/battery producers and OEM’s for advanced battery materials meeting their cost, performance and sustainablity targets. Thus, this workstream aims to develop a sustainable sourcing and processing of relevant battery raw materials, e.g. lithium, nickel, manganese, etc., both from domestic and overseas sources, thus, to fulfil the European standards in terms of sustainability and CO2 footprint.

Therefore, implementing a recycled feedstock helps to ensure these criteria via recycling. Furthermore, the potentials for domestic mining of critical raw materials in the context of LIBs, e.g. lithium and/or nickel, will be assets to ensure an inner-European closed battery life cycle assessment. Besides the active raw materials, further raw materials in the context of electrochemical energy storage are tackled in this workstream such as for the electrolyte and its additives focused on domestic production for conducting salts and their precursors, as well as cost efficient polyolefin based components (e.g. separators and battery housings).

Additionally, it is critical to improve the understanding of the relationship between raw material structures and advanced material for battery properties. To this end, the development of alternative production routes to close the value chain with regard to refining and precursors of electrochemical energy storage materials (e.g. anode/cathode, electrolytes, and separators) is another aim of this WS.

Key for a reliable supply of high quality raw materials for the European battery production is the setup of local production capabilities such as for processing of lithium hydroxide. Furthermore, innovative, scalable, sustainable and energy-efficient battery material production processes, especially for anode and cathode materials, are tackled in this WS focussing on new generations (new synthetic graphites and silicon anode material types) as well as alternative anode materials (e.g. intermetallic phases) and low cobalt-containing cathodes.

IPCEI Partner

ACI Systems

ACI systems is a member of the ACI Group and specializes in the development of innovative and sustainable solutions in the fields of energy, mobility, production and raw materials. Since 2016, the focus has been on raw material projects for the efficient, environmentally and socially compatible extraction and processing of lithium in Bolivia, Chile, Mexico and Argentina. ACI systems' goal is to contribute to the safe and sustainable supply of the European battery industry and thus support a new energy policy and the expansion of electromobility.

Germany

Description of the project

Within the IPCEI EuBatIn project, ACI systems is working in two technological fields:
1. Development of a technology for the direct, water-neutral production of lithium hydroxide from brine at competitive costs and with minimized CO2 footprint.
2. Development of an innovative, selective cleaning system for dry, automated part cleaning in the production of battery systems in order to achieve an optimized yield through minimized waste as well as increased safety in the operation of battery systems.  

www.aci-systems.de

 

Arkema

Arkema is a French chemical major with leadership positions in specialty chemicals and high performance materials. With a turnover of 8.8 billion €, Arkema has 20,000 employees in more than 55 countries, 13 research centres worldwide, and a total of 136 production plants in Europe, North America and Asia and the rest of the world.

 

France

Arkema is organized into three business segments: Coating Solutions, Industrial Chemicals, and Performance Products. For green energy technologies, the Arkema Group provides advanced materials for photovoltaics, wind power applications, and Li-ion batteries. In the latter segment, Arkema provides solutions all along the value chain - from raw materials to recycling.

Inside the cell, the materials portfolio spans from cathode and anode binders, to separator coatings solutions, electrolytes salts and additives, as well as carbon nanotubes.

Description of the project

LION. The first project aims to develop and upscale an innovative production process that allows the production, under cost-optimized and environment friendly conditions, of an ultra-pure electrolyte salt, namely LIFSI and related additives. These materials will improve drastically the batteries safety and fit perfectly with high voltages and fast charge batteries within either the present or future battery technologies.

PureCNT. The second project aims to develop and upscale a fundamentally innovative continuous purification process of Multi-Wall Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) that allows the production, under cost-efficient and environment friendly conditions. These MWCNTs will improve drastically the energy density capacity and provide longer battery lifetime and better power.

www.arkema.com

Borealis

Austria

Ferroglobe

Ferroglobe is one of the world’s largest producers of silicon metal and its alloys, and manganese alloys. The company uses state-of-the-art-technology in its production processes, supplying critical ingredients for many industrial and consumer products, from silicones to solar power cells, from steel to aluminium to foundry components.

Spain

Ferroglobe operates its own quartz mines (Spain, South Africa and the USA) and blue gem coal mines (USA) to guarantee top quality raw materials. Ferroglobe counts amongst its clients the largest companies in chemical silicones, polysilicon, aluminium and steel.

Description of the project

The goal of the project is the development of advanced silicon active material for the anode of Li-ion batteries in a cost-effective way and with the lower carbon footprint possible.  More concretely, the development of High Purity Silicon Powder either in micrometric size or in nanometric size.  We work closely with potential customers to understand their needs regarding their approach to the use of silicon in the anode, and we try our best to design a tailor made solution for them.

 

FLUORSID

FLUORSID is a world leader in the production and sale of inorganic fluorinated chemicals for the aluminum industry. The company covers the entire fluorine value chain, from the extraction of fluorspar to the production of HF or its derivatives, such as aluminum fluoride, and is both the world's largest buyer of fluorspar and the largest producer of HF and aluminum fluoride.

 

Italy

In addition to being a leader in quality and respect for the environment, FLUORSID is also one of the world's leading producers of anhydrite for construction and a major producer of sulfuric acid.

Description of the project

The project aims to develop an innovative production process of lithium hexafluorophosphate for use in electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries. Research activities will be aimed at defining complete parameters for the synthesis of high purity raw materials using low quality, waste, or recycled products. Taking advantage of the unique logistical position as well as the particularity of the Porto Marghera site, the natural consequence and further development of the project will be the birth of a new production line of raw materials for electrolytes in Europe.

Green Energy Storage

GES is an Italian innovative SME that develops redox flow batteries for energy storage applications. The current technology is based on a Harvard patent about a semi-organic flow battery, of which GES bought exclusive rights in 2015. Since its foundation, the company proceeded rapidly with product development with an expedited engineering process designed to build the first 1kW prototype in 2016 and four 2.5 kW prototypes successfully tested in 2018.

Italy

GES has developed internal know-how, from R&D&I activities on advanced battery electrodes, membranes, electrolytes and testing of battery cells to full battery system manufacturing

Description of the project

The major innovative nature of the project lies in the fact that GES works on an alternative and emerging technology, different from standard Li-ion. Energy storage will play a key role in the future, and this technology has the advantage of power and energy independent scalability that will fulfil different customer’s needs. Compared to current RFBs, GES ones will be safer, more performing, recyclable and they will be produced with renewable energy, i.e. with a very low CO2 footprint. The foreseen new FID infrastructure will combine high-quality processes, state-of-the-art equipment, and top-level competences.

http://www.greenenergystorage.eu

 

Hydrometal

Established for more than 30 years in Engis near Liège (Belgium), HYDROMETAL is a major recycling and recovery centre for a very wide range of materials (over 70,000t / year), by-products or complex residues containing non-ferrous metals, in particular: Zn, Ni, Cu, Pb, Sn, Co, other minor metals, precious metals and rare earths.

Belgium

Hydrometal's expertise is based on different hydrometallurgical processes, unique in the world, which consume very little energy and generate only small amounts of CO2 and ultimate waste.

Its industrial activity is strongly linked to the Zn element with the production pure Zn salts. The recycling of Co, Ni and Li is also part of its know-how.

Description of the project

Hydrometal’s project is an innovative alternative to the state-of-the-art techniques. It offers:

  • An improved and innovative full hydrometallurgical recycling process for the “black mass” coming from pre-treatment of spent Li-ion battery, that allow multi-elements recovery including lithium and graphite, that can be integrated as secondary raw materials in existing production lines.
  • An original way to recover Co that consumes less energy than pyrometallurgical processes
  • A Method to improve the global recovery yield of all the elements including F, Mn, graphite.

The project of Hydrometal allows to close the recycling loop by carrying out last step of recycling and first step of raw material production, useful for new batteries production.

www.jgi-hydrometal.be

 

 

Italmatch Chemicals

Italmatch Chemicals is a Global Specialty Chemical Group, leader in Phosphorus Derivatives for Flame Retardants, Plastics Additives, Lubricant, Water & Oil, Detergency.

Italy

With 17 manufacturing plants worldwide (7 in Europe) and 6 excellence R&D centre, Italmatch is active in mainly 4 sectors:

  1. Performance Products: from specialty phosphorus based derivatives to fatty acid chlorides and esters. Main markets are intermediates for lithium battery electrolytes, precious metal recycling, special mining additives, agrochemicals, pharma and cosmetics
  2. Flame retardants and plastic additives: from red phosphorus to halogen free flame retardants through high spec additives. Main markets are engineering thermoplastics and polyolefins
  3. Lubricant Performance Additives: polymeric and complex esters, phosphorus pentasulfide, amides, EP additives, hydraulic fluids, grease additives and MWF additives. Main markets are intermediates, additives & components for industrial and automotive lubrication and metal working
  4. Advanced Water Solutions: from corrosion inhibitors to removing, recovery and cleaning based on the most innovative chemistry. Main markets are desalination, water treatment, geothermal, O&G, I&I and valuable metals recovery

Description of the project

PARSES aims at developing various phosphorus-based additives, to feed the battery value chain at different levels, through:

  1. WP1- LiPF6 Manufacturing Plant, the first-in-its-kind in Europe (in collaboration with Fluorsid): establishing the first-in-its-kind LiPF6 (Lithium Ion Battery electrolyte precursor) manufacturing pilot plant in Europe, to pave the road for European commercial production, fulfilling the local Li-Ion Battery needs and contribute to the European independency transition.
  2. WP2- All-Solid-State-Lithium-Batteries (ASSLBs) and All-Solid-State-Lithium-Sulphur-Batteries (ASSLSBs)   Material Development Contribution: exploring and setting up a pioneering phosphorus penta-sulphide (P2S5, solid electrolytes precursor) pilot plant in Europe, to feed the solid electrolytes producers inside and outside the Italian context with a suitable material meeting the requirements of the IPCEI  circular battery value chain.
  3. WP3- Nickel, Cobalt, Lithium and other are rare-earth elements recovery from exhausted batteries – Development of new chemistry / co-formulations for a sustainable hydrometallurgy recycling process: developing innovative IoT integrated chemical technologies towards an efficient recovery of Lithium, Cobalt  and Nickel in partnership with several intra-European participants to the initiative, in a concept of circular economy and environmental sustainability

www.italmatch.com

 

 

Keliber

Keliber is a Finnish SME aiming at production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide (monohydrate) for the growing Lithium-Ion Battery Industry. Company’s own lithium ore will be used as raw material.

Finland

Keliber will utilize sustainable and cost-effective soda pressure leaching technology for hydrometallurgical lithium extraction and lithium hydroxide production. The production is planned to start late 2024 and reach full annual capacity of 15 000 tons of lithium hydroxide monohydrate in 2025 comparable for production of about 25 GWh of lithium-ion batteries.

Description of the project

Keliber’s objective is to develop responsible and sustainable sourcing and processing of primary and secondary lithium resources.  

www.keliber.fi

 

SGL Carbon

We are leaders in the development and manufacture of products based on carbon, graphite, carbon fibers, and fiber-reinforced composites.

Germany, Poland

In partnership with our customers, we develop intelligent, trendsetting, and sustainable solutions that deliver a clear benefit. With our in-depth material, engineering, and application know-how, we make a substantial contribution to the major future topics mobility, energy, and digitization.

Description of the project

With the development and industrialization of novel manufacturing processes and recycling concepts for innovative anode materials, SGL Carbon aims to make an essential contribution to establishing a sustainable and competitive European value chain and circular economy for lithium-ion batteries. The EU climate targets will be significantly supported by the resulting improved carbon footprint, reduced material and energy use, and increased battery lifetime.

https://www.sglcarbon.com

Solvay

Solvay is a large multi-specialties chemical group working on the forefront of innovation in chemicals and materials. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Solvay operates in 61 countries around the globe, employing around 25,000 people with a turnover of around 10 billion €. Solvay is committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges.

Italy

In the Lithium Battery market Solvay is focusing the majority of its activities in developing innovative materials that enable battery components (anodes, cathodes, electrolytes, separators..) and cells to improve their performance.

Description of the project

The focus of Solvay’s innovation efforts in IPCEI projects is to bring new, innovative materials that will allow the advent of next generation batteries. Solvay will develop advanced materials, either for liquid electrolyte and solid-state systems that could enable the commercialization of GEN 3 and GEN 4 cells and consent the adoption of new cost-effective and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes; in addition Solvay has proposed a specific project about new polymeric membranes to meet the challenging requirements of Redox-Flow Batteries.

www.solvay.com

 

Tokai Cobex

Germany

Varta Micro Innovation

Austria

Overview of the IPCEI EuBatIn Work Streams