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Versatile Ionomers for Divalent Calcium Batteries

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2020 (Novel ideas for radically new technologies)

VIDICAT is a four year FETOPEN project that sought for a practical rechargeable calcium battery (CaB) through the development of a novel cation conductive electrolyte.

Total budget: 3 M€ (EC contribution: 3 M€)

Duration: 03/2019 – 02/2023

Web: to be defined

The project

The constant incremental demand of electrochemical energy storage is the driving force of the battery mass production. However, when the battery technologies are basically dominated by those based on lithium, it makes the European battery market sensible to any potential limitation of resources. In that sense, the search for alternative battery technologies is a must in Europe. In recent years it has emerged the so-called post-Li battery technologies such as those based on sodium, magnesium or calcium. The last one is very promising in terms of theoretical energy density, safety, and sustainability. However, the lack of reliable electrolytes impedes the progress in the development of a practical rechargeable calcium battery (CaB).

VIDICAT aims to develop a new type of battery based on calcium as mobile cation and therefore, the development of a new electrolyte for this battery. Such electrolyte should be prepared by a bottom-up approach from ionic monomers, which does not exist up to now, delivering a calcium-cation conductive network (Ca-NIONO: Ca-Network ionomer) free of liquid. Compared to other solvent-free polymer electrolytes a network of highly delocalized anions should exist in Ca-NIONO similar to super ion conductors. Through this concept, VIDICAT targets to develop a CaB, where the nano-composite ionomer will provide at the interface with calcium, high chemical, electrochemical and thermal stability acting as well as polymer electrolyte. The development of this high-risk novel battery technology will go through the research and implementation of suitable cathodes for intercalation and conversion mechanisms. Acting as both electrolyte and electrode binder, Ca-NIONO will hence prevent ionic depletion in the composite electrodes, optimizing, due to high electrolyte/binder compatibility, the electrode/electrolyte interfaces and preventing the shuttling of polysulphides (in case of sulphur-based cathode) or the oxidized forms of new phenothiazine organic-redox material.  Such approach aims at supplying a safe, performing, cheap and sustainable battery technology based on calcium.

Partnership

VIDICAT consortium is interdisciplinary ranging from experimental and theoretical chemists/physicians, electrochemical and processing engineers, and economists. Thus, VIDICAT is organized to combine the expertise of each partner in the development of each functional component of the battery to achieve VIDICAT final goal. Led by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (ES), the consortium is constituted by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology / Helmholtz Institute Ulm (DE); CIDETEC Energy Storage (ES); Eras Labo (FR); Forschungszentrum Juelich (DE); Universita Degli Studi Padova (IT); Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique / Universite de Montpellier (FR).

Our role

CIDETEC acting as leader of the work package “Electrodes manufacturing and cell testing” will contribute as know-how on electrode formulation, processing and cell prototyping, as well as in the processing of polymer based electrolyte. This is a key role to support the proof-of-concept of this new technology with the manufacturing and testing of lab-scale Ca-based battery prototypes.

More information: TBD

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