The high societal importance of the transition to an environmentally friendly future calls for efficient energy storage solutions. Rechargeable batteries have become a cornerstone for such transformation, which is well reflected by the rapid growth of the battery industry in Norway. Among rechargeable batteries, solid-state batteries have raised significant attention due to potential to store up to 70 % more energy per unit weight coming along with improved safety. To realize this technology the development of innovative technological solutions to address the low conductivity of Li ions in solid-state polymer electrolytes – a key component of solid-state Li batteries, is prerequisite. Through the implementation of the COMBAT project, the team will develop and optimize a family of solid-state electrolytes based on the composite materials comprised of inorganic and organic components ultimately addressing not only performance issues but also processability representing an advancement of the technological readiness level from 1 to 3. Overall, by assembling the consortium of two academic partners (NTNU, UiO), selected based on complementarity and synergy of the organizations, their background and specialization, and two industrial partners (Ceramic Powder Technology AS (Cerpotech) and Freyr Battery) COMBAT will contribute to Norway’s battery value chain by developing new, safer, and more efficient battery technologies.
The aim of the COMBAT project is to demonstrate a composite solid-state electrolyte, comprised of organic and inorganic component, with Li-ion conductivities higher than 0.1 mS/cm at room temperature that could enable solid-state Li batteries with gravimetric energy densities of up to 500 Wh/kg. To design such composite electrolytes with the desired properties, a large parameter space will be screened. This includes the type, amount, and particle size of inorganic component (filler), its surface modification to ensure bonding to the polymer, as well as the conductive salt concentration to match the chemical potential to facilitate transport across organic/inorganic interfaces. This, in combination with advance characterization tools, such as nano-X-ray computer tomography, FIB tomography, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electronic microscopy, temperature dependent impedance spectroscopy and basic electrochemical testing, will provide a fundamental understanding on the interplay of the individual components. The project also aims to reveal how the modification of individual components will affect the Li-ion conductivity in the electrolyte and cell performance to outperform the state-of-art. Thereafter, the best composite electrolytes (membranes) will be evaluated in respect of scalability and cell performance by the industrial partners of the project: Cerpotech and Freyr. Overall, the consortium aims to significantly contribute to the development of safe, sustainable, and solid-state Li-ion batteries with high energy density, educate 2 PhD candidates and facilitate the interaction between academia and industry.