Imagine that batteries could be fully charged in less than 10 minutes - how could this speed up the green shift?
Batteries are considered a key enabling technology to achieve a climate-neutral society. However, todays batteries charge to slowly to meet the requirements of the green future. Existing technologies lack energy density or are too expensive to address the problem. It is a struggle to streamline the charging while at the same time maintain high safety, good temperature robustness and a long lifetime of the batteries.
Ambitiously, in "Bronze Titan", TioTech and SINTEF Industry aim to develop a titania-based material enabling batteries to charge within minutes AND improve their lifetime, safety and operating temperature at the same time. Titania has been studied extensively in research facilities worldwide, with results demonstrating that charging times below 10 minutes, increased safety and high capacity in temperatures down to -20°C is easily achievable. The reason why titania is not already revolutionising fast-charging batteries is that existing production methods either use extremely expensive raw materials or depend on high temperature synthesis, which complicate the manufacturing and make the cost of the material too high.
Based on solid experience with modifying, producing and commercialising titania materials, Tiotech will develop a production route for a cheap titania, tailor-made to be the best anode-material for Li-ion batteries. In the course of "Bronze Titan", TioTech and SINTEF will find the best suited anode chemistry for the material and commercialise the solution. By enabling fast-charging, the electrification of society can speed up - to make the world a greener place.
One year into the project, TioTech has made good progress towards developing a titania material which can replace LTO, the technology currently dominating the Li-ion battery market for fast-charging, safe and long-lasting batteries with excellent robustness towards temperature variation.
The BronzeTitan project will develop a new production process for a battery material for lithium ion batteries called titania bronze. Compared to existing solutions, this material has been shown to give faster charging, higher safety, better low temperature performance and long lifetimes in academic studies, but no-one has managed to synthesise it in a cost-efficient manner. In this project TioTech will develop a manufacturing process for titanium dioxide to yield nanomaterials with the correct atomic structure and electrochemical properties and understand how particle size and shape affect the properties of the battery material.
Bronze is a metastable material, that means that it can spontaneously convert into a less desireable form of titanium dioxide, anatase. A key challenge in the project is therefore to tune the process so that the amount of anatase is kept at a miniumum and the conversion from bronze to anatase is suppressed. Similarly, to achieve high charging speeds, we need to limit the size of the particles, but this has a negative effect on the usable capacity of the material as the increased surface area means more reactions can happen at the surface and limit the lifetime. In order to reach our goals we will therefore have to optimise both the size and shape of the nanoparticles, their internal structure and look at smart ways of limiting, or passivating, the surface so that the life time of the battery is kept high.
In the first part of the project, TioTech will deliver particles with different shape, size and surface treatments for SINTEF to carry out initial testing and validation. Once a suitable formulation is found, TioTech will perform the early steps of scale up and validate the production technology at larger scales.