Lighter batteries will help the e-mobility sector to reach its tipping point. A lower battery weight would result in a bigger Electric Vehicle (EV) autonomy range, thus encouraging the take up of cleaner vehicles in Europe. Nowadays, many EU countries cannot afford to deploy a dense network of urban EV charging stations; as a consequence, large sectors of the EU population are excluded from the e-mobility revolution that the European Commission strongly promotes. In a current high-end electric car, more than a third of the weight is due to the batteries. The technology of LeydenJar improves the energy density of lithium-ion batteries 50% by volume and 33% by weight without compromising cost, safety, power density, lifetime, and cycle life. A 50% increase is huge compared with global annual improvement of 3%-5% offered nowadays. Our technology is based on 100% silicon-manufactured anodes produced via a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technology. This process has been proved successful in the photovoltaic solar cell industry and we are the first and only (since our technology is patented worldwide) to offer it in the e-mobility domain. Our technology has the potential to be disruptive in the domain of EVs (both battery EVs and fuel cell EVs) but also the consumer electronics can be similarly interested in a 50% longer operating time, reduced weight, and smaller ecological footprint. Thus we have the long-term ambition to become a game-changing silicon anode supplier, thus contributing to the creation of a new EU industry around the production of Li-ion batteries. The first step of this strategy is to carry out a feasibility study to verify the commercial viability of LeydenJar; this will be the overall goal of the present SME Instrument phase 1 project.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are everywhere: they power smartphones, laptops, electric vehicles, hearing aids, and drones, for example. The crucial aspect in Li-ion batteries is their energy density; that is, how much energy a battery of a given volume and weight can store. The denser in energy a battery is, the longer it will last. Global R&D manages to increase the energy density of Li-Ion batteries by about 3% every year. At LeydenJar Technologies, we pioneer a process to increase the energy density by 50% without compromising on costs, safety, and lifetime. The key aspect of our innovation is a novel anode manufactured using Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD), a technology already established in the photovoltaic industry. Our innovation is at TRL 7 and it has proven performances comparable to state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries and potential to exceed them by far. We have patented the core aspects of our innovation worldwide, built a strong team, and defined a business case with the stakeholders in the value chain. Our anodes will be a breakthrough in the world of Li-ion batteries, allowing portable devices to last 50% longer and electric vehicles to drive 50% more, so the infrastructure of charging stations will need to be much less dense. Our innovation is very important for Europe, since the EC is making a huge effort to build a local battery industry that can compete with the Asian one. The market of Li-ion batteries will exceed €90 billion of turnover in 2025. To become a major player in it, during the Phase 2 project we will finalize our technology and production process, build a demo machine that exceeds in throughput the one we own now, and validate our anodes with an external battery manufacturer. Upon completion of the project, our innovation will have reached TRL 9 and we will have a launching customer among battery manufacturers. Then, the only activity left before commercialization is the setup of a commercial production plant.
Lithium-ion technology is the means to greener and more sustainable mobility and other mobile applications, but the process of cell manufacturing is still energy consuming and using environmentally harmful substances. The greenSPEED project offers solutions for new sustainable electrode and cell manufacturing processes with reduced energy consumption, lower carbon footprint and ZERO Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emissions. To that aim, the project main target is developing a battery cell comprised of electrodes manufactured by innovative dry processes. Our composite cathode, based on Ni-rich NMC, is to be manufactured by scalable roll-to-roll dry electrode coating process, that fully removes the use of casting-solvents and eliminates the need of energy-intense drying-, condensate and transportation process required in state-of-the-art electrode fabrication. The greenSPEED high-capacity pure-silicon anode is to be manufactured taking full advantage of our innovative process based on Microwave-Assisted Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (MW-PECVD), which deposits porous silicon directly on the copper current-collector starting from locally produced silane gas (SiH4). Moreover, the use of advanced modelling and simulation techniques including digital twins, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are to be employed to predict and optimise cell performance in early development stages, support the cell production process by virtually assessing the influence and importance of production parameters and thus minimising the number of experiments and to accelerate electrode production optimisation steps. The greenSPEED cell aims at increasing energy density (+69%) while reducing energy consumption (-32%) and costs (-21%) of production as compared to state-of-the-art Li-ion cells. The concepts here proposed have been already demonstrated at TRL 2/3 with the aim of reaching TRL 5/6 by the end of the project.