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ENERGIX-Stort program energi

Calcium-Silicon alloy-based all-solid-state batteries (CalSiumbat)

Alternative title: Kalsium-silisium baserte faststoff-batterier (CalSiumbat)

Awarded: NOK 7.8 mill.

CalSiumbat project aims to answer an important question in the field of energy storage – it is possible to create a reliable battery based on calcium. Over the past decade, researchers around the globe have been looking for potential alternatives to widely spread lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). LIBs have become extremely popular for various applications ranging from consumer electronics to electric vehicles. However, the rapid growth of LIB technology resulted in severe deficiency of multiple key elements which are used for fabrication of batteries. Alternatives, including multivalent chemistries, are considered as promising solutions for addressing this problem. Calcium, among other possibilities, is much less dangerous than lithium and sodium yet slightly larger and heavier. Thus, calcium-ion batteries could be considered for stationary energy storage. Calcium is the fifth most abundant element in the earth's crust and the third most abundant metallic element widespread around the globe. In addition, calcium represents substantially lower risks than lithium in terms of battery ignition. An additional safety improvement of the battery chemistry, which is adopted by CalSiumbat is the use of the solid-state electrolyte. During the initial phase of the project the international team led by University of Oslo explored several potential materials for enabling Ca-ion batteries. Specifically, materials for positive and negative electrodes were evaluated, and this background work provided a solid foundation for further development and optimization of Ca-ion chemistry. The team aims to deploy the solid-state electrolyte towards the end of the project to demonstrate all-solid Ca-ion battery. The project team consist of several experts with broad expertise in battery materials, and the project's objectives will be achieved through synthesis of materials, fundamental understanding of the chemical mechanisms necessary for the optimization, and electrochemical evaluation. In summary, Calsiumbat will pave the way for new types of materials in energy storage systems with high energy density, low environmental footprints, and low production costs. In collaboration with the major European research groups UiO will lay the foundation for the first prototype of a calcium-ion battery, which will be of interest for the rapidly expanding Norwegian battery industry.

In the last twenty years worldwide intense research and development efforts are invested by public and private stakeholders (universities, research centres and private companies) to develop new battery technologies beyond lithium. Aprotic sodium-ion batteries (NIB) are, by large, the most widely investigated chemistry alternative to LIB, given the chemical similarity of sodium to lithium, and its relatively small atomic weight. However, multivalent batteries based on Mg, Ca, Al and Zn, etc. have the ability to drive multiple electron exchange for every charge transfer event counterbalances the larger atomic weight compared to both Na and Li. Calcium is a divalent alkaline earth metal with an extraordinarily strong oxidative ability in consideration of the –2.87 V vs SHE (standard hydrogen electrode) redox potential for the Ca2+/Ca couple, to be compared to the -3.04 V vs SHE of the lithium metal electrode. In comparison to other elements under study for battery applications, calcium is the multivalent metal with the most negative redox potential and an ionic radium very similar to Na+, a cation easily intercalated/deintercalated in/from a variety of materials. The main objective of the overall project is to achieve a proof of concept for all-solid state Ca-ion batteries (CIB) with energy density higher than 650 Wh/kg. The ambitious part will be develop a new alloy-type of Ca-Si anode (phase 1) and couple it with a solid polymer electrolyte (PEO based) and a barium-free Prussian Blue (PBs) analogue cathode. Pre-tests with organic electrolyte will be carry out in half-cell configuration and later validated with the solid electrolyte. One work package will be devoted to the in-depth electrochemical reaction mechanism using X-ray Operando techniques. The final device will exhibit a working voltage beyond 4V and will use only not-toxic, cheap and easily scalable battery materials.

Funding scheme:

ENERGIX-Stort program energi