Lithium Innovations for Future Electric vehicles (LIFE)

Lead Participant: Oxis Energy Limited

Abstract

"The adoption of high energy density batteries is necessary to extend the range of electric vehicles, reduce range anxiety, and increase consumer acceptance. Batteries using lithium-metal as the anode material have significantly higher energy densities than conventional Li-ion batteries; a two fold increase in gravimetric energy can be achieved using lithium metal as opposed to graphite anodes. However, they suffer from short cycle lives due to the high reactivity of lithium. Current state-of-the-art lithium-sulfur and lithium-ion cells with lithium-metal anodes have cycle lives of approximately 100 cycles. To address this problem, OXIS have developed protective coatings on lithium metal foil at the lab scale, which lead to extended cycle life of lithium-sulfur cells. A high-throughput lithium-coating process is necessary to improve the cycle life of lithium-metal batteries at the volumes required for the automotive market.

The Lithium Innovations for Future Electric vehicles (LIFE) project will assess the feasibility of scaling up these coatings on lithium metal foil. Led by OXIS Energy, leaders in the development of next-generation lithium-sulfur batteries, and joined by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), experts in coating technologies, this study will investigate four key areas in the scale-up of lithium-metal coatings: the materials properties of lithium foils received from suppliers; pre-processing lithium foils prior to coating; depositing protective coatings onto lithium foil; and post-processing and integration of coated lithium into lithium-sulfur cells. Multiple pre-processing, coating, and post-processing techniques will be explored to assess the feasibility of integrating each into a single pilot line. And at each stage of this project, the focus will be on identifying potential challenges with the scaling of lithium-metal protection in order to mitigate the risks involved in building a high-volume coating line.

A scalable process for coating lithium foil is essential for manufacturing next-generation lithium-metal batteries for electric vehicles. Upon completion of this study, a detailed customer requirement document for a high-throughput pilot line for coating lithium foil will be produced. This can then be taken to manufacturers of high-volume processing equipment for the construction of a lithium foil coating line, which will allow for the rapid scale-up of protected lithium anodes, with the goal of having a pilot line installed and commissioned after completion of this project."

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Oxis Energy Limited, Abingdon, United Kingdom £316,623 £ 189,974
 

Participant

Centre for Process Innovation Limited, REDCAR £308,613 £ 308,613

Publications

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