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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/J013811/1
Title: A novel high-throughput extrusion-lamination process for lithium-ion battery manufacture
Principal Investigator: Ward, Professor IM
Other Investigators:
Mattsson, Dr K
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Follow on Fund
Starts: 05 January 2012 Ends: 04 July 2013 Value (£): 124,021
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Complex fluids & soft solids Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Oct 2011 Follow-on Fund Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This programme of research is to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of producing a completely new high performance solid state battery suitable for scaling into applications such as electric vehicles, consumer electronics and green energy.

Conventional technology

In the typical conventional Li-ion technology the two electrode foils are kept apart physically by a porous film and the whole battery is enclosed in a rigid container into which the highly flammable liquid electrolyte is injected. This is a batch process of two or more stages.

Most research into Li-ion batteries focuses on the electrodes especially to increase capacity; these are then incorporated in the conventional battery fabrication method. Little research is undertaken into the electrolyte and separators and even less on developing more cost effective fabrication methods and alternatives processing routes.

Advantages of the Leeds technology

The Leeds polymer gel electrolyte and extrusion lamination technology differs from the conventional in that the electrolyte acts as both separator and ion conductor. The highly conducting polymer gel electrolytes possess excellent mechanical toughness and electrochemical stability. The laminated gel electrolyte binds the cell together from within, can be produced on continuous single process, requires no rigid container, and is flexible and formable. Instead of separate components of electrolyte, binder and separator these electrolytes can act as all three.

The development of a thermoreversible gel electrolyte enables melt extrusion of the gel and continuous production of battery cells at high extrusion rates of at least 10m/minute. The elimination of the expensive porous film separator and the high speed extrusion lamination process significantly reduce the cost of battery production.

The programme of research

The Leeds process has been developed and demonstrated for a number of years. It is now poised to take the technology forward to develop the process for the reliable production of multilayer laminates which can be immediately incorporated into batteries.

The development of the process will require a study of the formation of gels at the fast extrusion rates that are required for commercially viable processing.

Future commercial developments

This programme will demonstrate that the technology can produce mainstream cost effective Li-ion batteries with enhanced safety and high specific capacity.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk