CircuBAT - Swiss circular economy model for automotive lithium batteries

Subproject 2: Cell manufacturing

Drying of battery electrodes after the electrode coating step represents by far the most energy-intensive step in the production of a lithium-ion battery cell (35-50% or 4-5 kWh per kg of cell, not taking into account the energy required to produce the materials that go inside the cell). Traditionally, slot die coating is employed for electrode manufacturing requiring a slurry with a solvent content of ~50 wt% for the anode and ~30 wt% for the cathode. Besides the high operating expenditure, the drying units including solvent recovery also significantly contribute to the capital expenditure of a cell production line. The objective of subproject 2 is to develop a solvent-free dry electrode coating process resulting in significant energy and cost savings in lithium-ion battery cell production.

Subproject 2 focuses also on the development of a biopolymer binder system to be compatible with aqueous battery recycling routes.