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Innovative fabrication technologies for fast charging lithium-ion batteries
Battrion is a Swiss spin-off of ETH Zurich and works closely with the Laboratory for Nanoelectronics at ETH. Battrion develops and markets innovative fabrication technologies for lithium ion batteries aimed at increasing the charging speed of high energy density cells. By innovating on a single step in the industrial battery manufacturing processes, our patented Battrion technology improves the microstructure of the negative electrode, which constitutes the bottleneck for fast charging. The Battrion technology platform allows cell manufacturers to meet the growing performance, cost and safety requirements.
The BATTRION technology allows controlling the orientation of flake graphite particles. Orienting the flakes vertically leads to short effective lithium transport distances and therefore to very high charging currents without degradation. Because the BATTRION technology uses cheap flake graphite, it also reduces cost and minimizes the environmental impact of battery production. Currently, two types of graphite are used in the battery industry: flake graphite and spherical graphite. Electrodes made from flake graphite are cheap but have to be operated at low charging currents to avoid degradation. The limited speed is caused by horizontal orientation of flake-shaped particles, which leads to long effective lithium transport distances. At too high charging currents, insufficient lithium transport leads to fast degradation of the battery. The use of spherical graphite slightly reduces the effective transport distance and thus electrodes made from spherical particles can be operated at moderate charging currents. However, during the fabrication of spherical particles, 50-70% of the raw material is lost as waste. This makes spherical graphite less environmentally friendly and more expensive than flake graphite.