Project PCEforNB advances development of sodium battery

Powerful and safe: polymer-ceramic electrolytes for the energy transition

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As part of the “Battery 2020 Transfer” initiative, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research will fund the “PCEforNB” project (polymer-ceramic electrolytes (PCE) for medium-temperature Na-batteries) for three years and with 1.7 million euros. In the project, novel polymer-ceramic electrolytes for solid-state sodium batteries are being developed. As a promising post-lithium technology, the sodium battery has an important role to play in meeting the increasing demand for stationary storage. The aim of the research project is to consistently develop this technology further with a cost-effective, safe and long-lasting electrolyte. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Institutes for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS and for Applied Polymer Research IAP as well as the Humboldt-Universität of Berlin.

© Fraunhofer IKTS
Materials for the energy transition: in the project, known battery materials are being recombined to develop long-lasting polymer-ceramic electrolytes. Pictured from left: cathode material, Na-ß alumina, polymer, sodium. (Image: Fraunhofer IKTS)

The project partners of “PCEforNB” want to jointly harness the advantages of ceramic solid electrolytes and active materials with those of polymer materials for a new generation of sodium batteries. For this purpose, ceramic-polymer composite electrolytes and cathodes are realized by integrating highly conductive ceramic electrolyte particles and active material particles, respectively, in a stable and conductive polymer matrix. As project coordinator, Fraunhofer IKTS contributes its expertise in the material synthesis of ceramic solid electrolytes as well as the assembly and characterization of sodium battery cells in the high-temperature range. The Humboldt-Universität (AG Adelhelm) is involved in the project with the synthesis of the cathode material as well as the electrochemical characterization of the materials and composites in the medium temperature range. The know-how on novel, highly conductive and stable polymers as well as the integration of the ceramic particles is contributed to the project by Fraunhofer IAP. The consortium thus provides the necessary materials science, electrochemical and process engineering expertise for the successful achievement of the project goals.

The developments are carried out in close cooperation with an industrial advisory board, which supports the work and suggests any adjustments that may be necessary in order to obtain application- and market-oriented results.

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