abee, batteries, battery cells, battery research, cic energigune, europe, inegi, nanocyl, nanomakers, nextcell, politecnico di torino, sintef, solvay, sustainable innovations, th ingolstadt, univerza v ljublani, varta, varta innovation

The Nextcell project, funded by the EU with around eight million euros, aims to develop a new generation of high-performance lithium-ion battery cells. The goals are to develop and validate an innovative concept of gellified battery cells and to address aspects such as cost, safety and sustainability.

Nextcell is led by FEV Europe. A total of 17 partners from ten European countries are involved in the 48-month project.

The battery cells currently available on the market – whether pouch, round or prismatic cells – use solid, porous electrodes, solid separator foils and a liquid electrolyte. By far the most widespread approach for the next cell generation is to switch to a solid electrolyte.

Within the framework of Nextcell, the 17 companies and institutes want to explore another way: the gelation of the main components of the cell. In such cells, both the electrodes and the electrolyte are to be built in a gelled form. The partners expect the cells prototyped in the project to have a high energy density, “enabling excellent performance in high-voltage applications”.

In addition to the development itself, potential manufacturing processes are also to be optimised in order to reduce the capital and operating costs of future factories. One approach here is the energy-intensive evaporation of solvents during the coating of solid electrodes.

Nextcell involves FEV, ABEE, Solvay, Nanomakers, Universitat Politècnica de València, Politecnico di Torino, Sintef, Inegi, CIC energiGUNE, the French Commission for Atomic Energy and Renewable Energy (CEA), Varta Innovation and FIAT Research Center (CRF), Nanocyl, Univerza v Ljublani, Sustainable Innovations and Ingolstadt University of Technology.

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