German battery projects make progress

Lithium-sulphur and LFP battery research is continuing apace as developers evaluate new chemistries

German battery projects make progress
Germany is home to a number of battery research projects

Recent developments in Germany’s battery R&D space will help accelerate the commercialisation of alternative battery chemistries for EVs.

A team at the University of Muenster has started research on lithium sulphur batteries following a €1.9mn ($2.05mn) grant from the German government.

The Arelis 3 project will develop cell designs, electrode coatings and electrolytes for sulphur-based battery systems.

Lithium-sulphur battery chemistries have long been touted as a potential replacement for traditional lithium-ion chemistries.

As a cathode, sulphur is a low-cost and abundant active material, helping to bring down costs and reduce supply chain risk. But developers of the technology have faced issues because of the formulation of polysulphides on the electrolyte cathode.

Arelis 3 researchers hope to solve this issue using different types of electrolytes. 

As well as sulphur based cathodes, the project's researchers will investigate nickel-manganese-cobalt based cathodes.

“We will upscale the most promising lithium-sulphur concepts under industrial aspects and cycle and investigate them in...cells,” says project lead Simon Wiemers-Meyer of the MEET Battery Research Centre.

 The project will run until March 2026. 

LFP technology centre changes hands

Elsewhere in the battery technology space, Indian firm Epsilon Advanced Minerals (EAM) has finalised the acquisition of a lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) cathode active material technology centre in Moosburg, Germany from British chemicals firm Johnson Matthey.

“This acquisition reaffirms our commitment to delivering cutting edge solutions to the evolving EV battery market,” says Vikram Handa, managing director of EAM. 

LFP cathodes have the potential to offer better performance in variable temperatures and have a more secure supply chain than other cathode materials such as nickel and cobalt. 

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EAM aims to make India the first country in Asia outside of China to manufacture LFP cathode materials. It will break ground on its manufacturing facility this year and scale up to produce 100,000t/yr of the materials by 2030.

Germany was ranked third in BNEF's recent evaluation of which countries have the most advanced battery supply chains.

Look out for EV in Focus's investigation into the 'Top 10 battery technologies to watch in 2024', which will include both lithium-sulphur and LFP developments.

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