BFH researchers analyse 3D printing process for lithium-ion batteries

11.11.2021 Lithium-ion batteries can be produced less expensively using a special 3D printing process patented by Blackstone Resources AG. This has been confirmed by analysis carried out by the Institute for Intelligent Industrial Systems I3S at Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH.

The Swiss company Blackstone Resources AG is pursuing the ambitious goal of using a 3D printer to make lithium-ion batteries which not only have a higher energy density, but can also be produced more safely and less expensively.

Researchers from BFH’s Institute for Intelligent Industrial Systems I3S have now taken a closer look at this battery production process. Using a complex simulation method, they demonstrated that the 3D printing process patented by Blackstone actually reduces the cost of materials by around 20 euro/kWh – mainly thanks to improved use of inactive materials, such as separators and collector films. While they do not contribute to energy storage, they are still necessary in a battery. The 3D printing process can be used to make both liquid-electrolyte and solid-state batteries. Blackstone focuses on both technologies.

The scientific validation of the 3D printing process by BFH’s research team resulted in the project being granted further funds by the funding organisation Innosuisse. Blackstone plans to use it to develop further models for the printing of solid-state batteries.

The batteries from the 3D printer were analysed at BFH using a new production plant for lithium-ion batteries which was officially opened on 18 November 2021: https://www.bfh.ch/de/aktuell/veranstaltungen/einweihung-lithium-ionen-batterieanlage/ (German only)

Production plant for lithium-ion batteries
Production plant for lithium-ion batteries

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