Ten European industry and research organizations are partnering in the EU-funded project ECO COMBAT (Ecological Composites for High-Efficient Li-Ion Batteries), which aims to develop next-generation Li-ion batteries.
Better performance is not the only goal for the new battery. The project also aims to develop a battery that’s more sustainable, by reducing the need for expensive and rare raw materials used in today’s batteries.
Low-cobalt NMC (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide) serves as an active electrode material. It provides the required energy density, but contains approximately 20% less cobalt than conventional solutions. Carbon nanotubes and porous carbon serve as conductive additives.
The carbon materials enhance the electrical conductivity of the electrodes and allow high energy densities. A special high-voltage electrolyte based on the conductive salt lithium-bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (LiFSI) can be operated stably even at high voltages. An ion-conductive hybrid polymer coating protects the electrolyte materials to ensure safe and reliable use of the battery and a long lifespan.
As more EVs appear on the roads, there will inevitably be more waste batteries. The ECO COMBAT researchers will also test innovative recycling processes that reduce waste and make it easier to recover precious materials like graphite, cobalt and lithium.