Towards the development of sustainable batteries

  • Energy storage

The European Union is actively targeting the creation of a European battery manufacturing value chain, facilitating the transition to e-mobility on one hand, and taking advantage of the rise of this novel sector to reshape the European industry landscape on the other hand. However, the impressive acceleration of electric vehicle adoption in recent years and the constant but relatively slow development of battery technologies with improved performances, will rapidly turn the fleet into a rainbow of different battery types, with varied chemistries. As modern batteries contain up to a hundred different materials, most of them relying on critical resources, recycling will soon become critical to feed the e-mobility transition. But the many kinds of chemistry designs proposed to enhance the vehicle range will undoubtedly result in a real bottleneck for battery recycling. Indeed, a too high variety in material input hinders high quality separation and lowers the yield of recovery, pushing the recycling companies to target only the most valuable elements. It is thus urgent to turn to a more circular design to attain real sustainability in affordable and clean energy.

The project Toward sustainable batteries based on silicon, sulfur and biomass-derived carbon (2BoSS) will develop an innovative, durable and more circular battery technology, the processing of part of the required raw materials, and the associated recycling strategies to minimize the use of critical raw materials. 2BoSS will turn commercial batteries compatible with a more circular economy, enhancing their performance, extending their service life, and assuring a more sustainable production and entire lifecycle.

Prof Andreu Cabot from the “Functional Nanomaterials” at IREC is the coordinator of this project. It partners with the “Nanoionics and Fuel Cells” and “Energy Storage, Harvesting and Catalysis” groups of the same institute, together with CEA (France), Politecnico di Torino (Italy) and Cleopa GmbH (Germany). The role of IREC in 2BoSS is to obtain biomass-derived carbon to be used at the cathode, to produce the cathode electrodes and to assemble and test the batteries.

The project has a total budget of ~1M€ and will run for 3 years. The kick-off meeting is held at IREC headquarters on May the 9th, 2022, where the partners will gather for the first time to draw the initial work package outlines.

Acknowledgements (in Spanish)

El proyecto 2BoSS (PCI2022-132985) está financiado por MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 y por la Unión Europea “NextGenerationEU”/PRTR.