Field Enhanced Sintering of Beta Alumina for Electric Vehicle Battery Applications

Lead Participant: LUCIDEON LIMITED


"Sodium batteries are a key technology to replace current lithium-ion technology, with the world's lithium resource in limited supply and expected to be exhausted between 2025 and 2040\.

This project will assess a promising new technique, Field Enhanced Sintering (FES), to manufacture beta-alumina solid electrolytes, a critical component of sodium batteries. A step change in ceramic processing would revolutionise sodium battery design by enabling lower temperature operation, reducing costs and improving safety and market acceptability for EVs.

FES processing has the potential to lower sintering times and temperatures, and improve the properties of beta-alumina, a ceramic solid electrolyte used in sodium EV batteries. Lucideon has developed FES for processing structural ceramics, showing significant process benefits and enhanced product properties. These capabilities could deliver significant improvements to the electrolyte fabrication process and increase ceramic strength, allowing thickness reduction and lower resistance with benefits for sodium battery design and performance

The project will be delivered by two SME's, Ionotec and Lucideon, who bring complementary expertise and capabilities plus market presence. Ionotec is a leader in solid electrolyte manufacture and sodium battery development, working with global clients. Lucideon is a leading developer of FES technology working with many ceramic manufacturers and researchers.

This project aims to create a unique technology for exploitation in the UK. Sodium batteries made by this route could take significant shares of the EV battery market and lead to new manufacturing companies with associated supply chain and thus employment benefits."

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