Nextrode – electrode manufacturing

Substantial benefits in battery performance can be realised by smarter assembly of the different materials that comprise the electrodes used in rechargeable ion batteries. Further, these benefits will apply equally to mature material systems already used in electrodes and to new systems. Launched in autumn of 2019, this project is focused on researching, understanding and quantifying the potential for smart electrodes to improve energy storage devices, and developing new practical manufacturing innovations that can scale smart electrode benefits to the industrial scale.

Nextrode focuses principally on manufacturing research into how to engineer a new generation of battery electrode structures. Novel developments in electrode structuring will be drawn from basic science understanding of the current slurry casting manufacture of Li-ion electrodes along with predictive modelling to suggest how control of electrode microstructure can deliver improved energy storage characteristics. Nextrode will support UK manufacturers and supply chain companies, draw on cutting edge scientific and technological knowledge to produce increased cell performance, add value in electrode processing, and improve safety and sustainability.

Project presentation from the Faraday Institution Conference, November 2020

Objectives

  • Support an agile electrode fabrication capability. The team aims to deliver insights that will reduce the time needed to re-optimise slurry casting parameters when electrode formulations are changed using a methodology that is validated at lab, intermediate and, with project partners, production scale.
  • Enable the production of Li-ion batteries with smart electrodes that reduce degradation rates and increase energy density at high charge/discharge rates.
  • Demonstrate smart electrode manufacturing technology and performance benefits in a scalable battery format.
  • Provide a suite of modelling and characterisation tools that link microstructural features to electrochemical performance and which allow design-driven structural optimisation of battery structures, suitable for a broad range of battery formulations.

Project funding
£12m
1 October 2019 – 30 September 2023
Principal Investigator
Professor Patrick Grant
University of Oxford
Project Leader
Dr Denis Cumming
University of Sheffield
University Partners
University of Oxford (Lead)
University of Birmingham
University College London
University of Sheffield
University of Southampton
University of Warwick
Research Organisations, Facilities and Institutes
UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC)
+ 12 Industry Partners

 

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