Towards safer and more sustainable lithium-ion batteries

Published on 13/02/2023

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is coordinating a Horizon Europe project worth more than €5 million to develop innovative tools and methods to enable better, safer and recyclable lithium-ion batteries

The EU aims to position itself at the forefront of the global battery industry by improving and transforming both industry operating methods and the rate of technology evolution. The Batteries Partnership (BATT4EU) initiative is working towards boosting European competitiveness in the sustainability and circularity of the entire battery value chain. This public-private partnership established under Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation of the European Union – is between the European Commission and the Batteries European Partnership Association (BEPA), which comprises all battery stakeholders within the European research community. A central part for the research, particularly for the projects on low TRL-level, within this ecosystem is the large scale research initiative BATTERY 2030+.

The BATTERY 2030+ initiative will, directly and indirectly, benefit cross-sectoral domains in which batteries are a key cornerstone of the technology, for example: e-mobility, power grids, alternative sources of energy, smart cities, drones, electronics and medical devices.

In this context, an international team led by LIST has recently been awarded 5 million euros of funding from the European Commission and a further 0.7 million euros from Switzerland to develop innovative tools and methods to investigate interfaces in lithium-ion batteries.

The project, called OPINCHARGE, is coordinated by Dr Santhana Eswara, a Lead R&T Associate within the Materials Research and Technology department at LIST. The project brings together eight world-leading academic institutions, research and technology organizations and two businesses, with partners located across Europe. The project aims to develop advanced characterization methods and tools to investigate solid-state interfaces in Li-ion batteries under operando or in-situ conditions at an unprecedented level of detail.

More specifically, within this collaboration, LIST will develop ion and electron beam-based prototype nanoanalytical instruments to perform operando and in-situ analyses of existing and future battery interfaces. “We are very excited and are looking forward to launching the OPINCHARGE project to develop advanced methods to analyse battery interfaces during operation. These new methods will provide crucial insights that are needed to develop safe, durable and sustainable battery technologies of the future”, said Dr Eswara.

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