Battery research - SkaLiS project funded with 2.2 million euros

Pouch cell Lab

Pouch cell Lab © HZB

SkaLiS Project Team

SkaLiS Project Team © HZB

Powerful, compact, and affordable batteries are needed for the energy transition. Groups at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) led by Prof. Yan Lu, Dr. Ingo Manke, and Dr. Sebastian Risse are conducting this research. They are investigating and developing novel types of electrode materials based on sulphur and silicon. Risse is now also coordinating a large project involving teams from HZB as well as from the University of Potsdam near Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Dresden and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden.

The SkaLiS project will commence July 2021 and receive a total of 2.2 million euros in funding over the next three years from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). SkaLiS stands for "Operando analysis-supported, trans-scale and scalable electrode design for increasing the performance of lithium-sulphur pouch cells".

The participating research groups in SkaLiS (FKZ: 03XP0398) intend to produce a lithium-sulphur (Li-S) demonstrator battery in pouch cell format whose cathode simultaneously exhibits structure at several scales. This approach should enable the Li-S battery to be considerably safer, offer longer service life, and higher performance than previous battery cells. For the assessment of industrial relevance, the consortium is supported by an industrial advisory board consisting of representatives from Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Wingcopter, Customcells and E-Lyte.

The
HZB Institute for Electrochemical Energy Storage has already set up the appropriate infrastructure to accomplish this work. It is known as the Pouch-Cell Line – experimental batteries in flat pouches can be produced in the facility from raw materials in a few simple steps (see video clip).

In addition, the SkaLiS project will also make a six-figure investment in a new detector system for a small-angle X-ray instrument. It is currently being set up at the Berlin-Wannsee campus in Risse's electrochemistry group and is particularly suited for studying materials such as battery electrodes.

Prof. Yan Lu, head of the Institute, and her team of chemists produce the cathode material themselves. It consists of finely ground sulphur particles embedded in a carbon powder substrate that features specific porosities. After the experimental battery cell has been fabricated in Berlin and Dresden, the electrochemical performance, safety, and service life are analysed in detail by the research groups headed by Manke and Risse using operando methods. This allows immediate conclusions to be drawn about cell fabrication and cathode material synthesis, which are also important for industrial-scale applications. 

arö

You might also be interested in

  • Rhombohedral graphite as a model for quantum magnetism
    Science Highlight
    27.09.2022
    Rhombohedral graphite as a model for quantum magnetism
    Graphene is an extremely exciting material. Now a graphene variant shows another talent: rhombohedral graphite made of several layers slightly offset from each other could enlighten the hidden physics in quantum magnets.
  • 40 years of research with synchrotron light in Berlin
    News
    14.09.2022
    40 years of research with synchrotron light in Berlin
    Press release _ Berlin, 14 September: For decades, science in Berlin has been an important driver of innovation and progress. Creative, talented people from all over the world come together here and develop new ideas from which we all benefit as a society. Many discoveries – from fundamental insights to marketable products – are made by doing research with synchrotron light. Researchers have had access to this intense light in Berlin for 40 years. It inspires many scientific disciplines and is an advantage for Germany.

  • Professorship at the University of Augsburg for Felix Büttner
    News
    29.08.2022
    Professorship at the University of Augsburg for Felix Büttner
    Felix Büttner has led a junior research group at HZB. Now he has accepted a call to the University of Augsburg. As head of a joint research group, he will continue his studies of magnetic skyrmions at BESSY II.