3D electrodes boost battery power, life - Embedded.com

3D electrodes boost battery power, life

An Israeli startup has raised $27 million to fund a redesign of battery architectures around its integrated 3D structure.

Addionics, the Israeli rechargeable battery startup, has raised $27 million in venture funding in support of efforts to redesign battery architectures around its electrode technology.

Tel Aviv-based Addionics focuses on replacing traditional 2D electrode layer structures with an integrated 3D architecture. Moshiel Biton, CEO and co-founder of Addonics, said the approach provides greater energy density and power while extending battery life.

“We plan to utilize the $27 million investment to further develop our technology capabilities and applications with the goal of reaching commercialization by 2024. The funding will also be leveraged to build two pilot production facilities, to expand our team and to increase our activity in the U.S. and Germany to better engage with partners,” Biton said.

Moshiel Biton

Five commercial projects underway at Addionics target automotive applications with leading suppliers. “These projects are paid, and each one focused on another battery chemistry integrated with our smart 3D electrodes – including lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide, lithium iron phosphate, silicon anode, and lithium polymer battery chemistries and solid-state batteries.”

The startup announced collaboration last year with Saint-Gobain of France to co-develop solid-state lithium-ion batteries for EVs.

Better batteries

Climate change and rising greenhouse gas emissions as well as the need for renewable energy are driving the global economy toward electrification. EV adoption and energy storage will be successful only if more efficient, cost-effective and safer batteries are available. Huge efforts and expenditures have gone into developing next-generation batteries, with a focus on battery chemistry, novel chemical formulae and new materials, including lithium-sulfur and lithium-metal.

Current batteries must either store more energy or charge and discharge faster. That means current battery technologies cannot deliver both extended range and quick charge for EV applications.

The so-called anode-cathode mismatch is another challenge. “What’s novel about Addonics’ technology is its ability to improve battery performance for any chemistry, existing or emerging, without increasing costs,” Biton claimed.

Solid-state batteries “hold a lot of promise,” he added. “One of the greatest advantages of our technology is the fact that we are able to solve the main problem with solid state: the anode-cathode capacity mismatch – to develop higher energy, more mechanically stable solid-state batteries.”

Addionics Battery

How 3D electrodes work

Traditionally, battery electrodes have 2D structures employing dense metal foils, on which the active material is layered on top. But this 30-year-old 2D structure has reached the limit of its ability to achieve key performance parameters required to meet growing electrification demand.

“With 3D structures, the active material is integrated throughout at higher loads, which lowers internal resistance in the battery,” Biton said. “The new battery cell architecture improves the surface area and properties of a battery’s electrodes leading to enhanced energy density, improved conductivity, less heat generation and material expansion.

“This provides significant advantages to any existing or emerging battery chemistry in terms of drive range, charging time, safety and battery lifetime. All these benefits occur simultaneously without materially changing the battery size or components,” he added.

Addionics’ patented electrode fabrication process is touted as significantly lowering manufacturing costs. The process is compatible with existing battery manufacturing facilities and assembly lines. In addition, Addionics’ proprietary AI algorithm accelerates battery development time by optimizing electrode designs based on application.

The EV industry is focused on finding ways to increase range, reduce charging time and improve battery safety while building EVs at prices competitive with internal-combustion engines. As battery manufacturing scales, prices will fall and the industry will achieve greater consistency. “The battery market needs to focus on two main things: technology and scale,” Biton said. “Creating the next step-change requires a focus beyond chemistry; we need to improve battery physics and use AI to tackle the technology issue and scale.”

Another safety issue is improving the mechanical stability and thermal uniformity of batteries to ensure they don’t overheat or short circuit. “EV battery fires, although rare, are a huge detriment to EV adoption and consumer confidence,” Biton noted. “Changing the design of the battery cell provides a more efficient route to enhancing safety than current approaches.

“Our 3D electrode design improves heat dissipation, thermal uniformity and mechanical stability to improve battery lifespan and reduce the risk of phenomena leading to explosions and fires.” Biton further claimed that improved cell design represents a low-risk venture compared to introducing novel chemicals that must be stabilized and tuned before market introduction.

The ability to recycle batteries must also be improved. To that end, Biton said: “Our chemistry agnostic solution is adaptable to environmentally-friendly materials and regulations, allowing battery manufacturers to quickly adopt new chemistries that use fewer rare materials – a growing issue in the industry.

“Another advantage is the fact that we are extending battery lifetime, which helps reduce waste,” he added. “Our proprietary manufacturing process is more environmentally friendly than existing approaches.” The startup’s 3D electrodes can be fabricated at room temperature, further reducing energy costs and emissions.

>> This article was originally published on our sister site, EE Times.

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