FoFeBat4: PEM creates structures for solid-state battery research

The Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) of RWTH Aachen University has started the fourth subproject for the establishment and expansion of the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Battery Cell Production FFB in Münster, whose technology development and production planning PEM is supporting as an official partner. As part of the “FoFeBat4” project, a consortium of numerous research institutions is working on the integration of key technologies for sustainable and efficient battery cell factories of the future

The main focus here is on solid-state batteries which have increasingly become the focus of industrial research in the recent past. “So far, none of the three solid electrolyte systems – oxide, thiophosphate, and polymer – has been able to clearly establish itself as the most promising solution,” says PEM Director Professor Achim Kampker. “The high demands on the production environment and the sometimes significant differences in the manufacturing processes, equipment, and materials required make it very difficult to adapt a production process chain for conventional lithiumion batteries to the manufacture of solid-state batteries.”

Meanwhile, there is a consensus in the industry that the solid-state battery is an enabler technology that could make the use of lithium-metal-based anodes possible in order to achieve a particularly high energy density. Many of the worldʼs largest automotive and battery cell manufacturers have themselves invested in research into solid-state batteries in recent years and have entered into strategic development agreements with start-up companies.

FoFeBat4 is therefore intended to answer the fundamental questions regarding the production of solid-state batteries and at the same time create the necessary infrastructure. Within the framework of innovation laboratories, the project will research alternative production processes and technologies from the battery cell value chain with a particular focus on solid-state batteries. The existing electrolyte systems are to be synthesized on a high scale and examined in various cell chemistries for performance, operating conditions, and safety aspects. PEM is involved in testing the material systems in near-series assembly under dry room and clean room conditions as well as in the construction of large-format cells.