Lithium Ion Battery Manufacturing Process

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Analytical Requirements In Quality Control And Monitoring

Battery manufacturing process

As mentioned in my previous blog post, there are three main components of a battery: two terminals made of different chemicals , the anode and the cathode and the electrolyte, which separates these terminals. The electrolyte is a chemical medium that allows the flow of electrical charge between the cathode and anode. The infographic below provides an overview of the battery structure, including Li-ions and electrons flow during charge and discharge. During manufacturing battery producers must not only deliver consistent overall quality, but they must also deliver it throughout the manufacturing process. Likewise, development of new battery materials must ascertain all the critical parameters that could affect battery performance throughout the entire manufacturing process. Lets evaluate the main components of a battery, cathode, anode and electrolyte and investigate why quality is important to ensure performance.

Battery Manufacturing Basics From Catls Cell Production Line

This story is contributed by Katherine He and Yen T. Yeh

  • A summary of CATLs battery production process collected from publicly available sources is presented.
  • The 3 main production stages and 14 key processes are outlined and described in this work as an introduction to battery manufacturing.
  • CapEx, key process parameters, statistical process control, and other manufacturing concepts are introduced in the context of high throughput battery manufacturing.

In many universities and startup-scale battery R& D environments, the coin cell is the default form factor to evaluate battery systems. However, in applications such as electric vehicles , cells are typically manufactured in pouch, prismatic, or cylindrical form factors, which are then assembled into modules, packs, and then integrated into the EV product. In order to achieve stringent safety and performance requirements, a high level of precision, uniformity, stability, and automation have become necessary in the battery manufacturing process.

The industrial production of lithium-ion batteries usually involves 50+ individual processes. These processes can be split into three stages: electrode manufacturing, cell fabrication, formation and integration.

Environmental Permitting For Manufacturers And Recyclers

In terms of environmental permitting, new manufacturing plants could face multiple regulations. On a federal level, 40 CFR 461 subpart E lists New Source Performance Standards for lithium-Ion battery production. This regulation limits the discharge of metal pollutants, such as chromium, lead, and iron, into wastewater systems. It also contains pretreatment standards for the facilitys wastewater. Proposed facilities will need to carefully sample and limit discharges from the wastewater treatment system. Aside from lithium battery manufacturing, federal regulation 49 CFR 173.185 regarding the transportation of lithium batteries would be applicable. If these facilities are manufacturing batteries and sending them to another plant to be installed into vehicles, they may face several testing requirements.

In addition to federal requirements, the proposed plants will be subject to local regulations regarding combustion equipment and major source classification permits. As mentioned, lithium-ion battery manufacturing requires the use of combustion equipment. This equipment is regulated on a local and federal level because they produce GHG emissions and criteria pollutant emissions, depending on the fuel type. Lastly, if these facilities are classified as major sources, they must meet the monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for major sources, which can be extensive.

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Cathode And Anode Slurry Compounding

Problem

  • Battery slurries are generally mixed batchwise in planetary mixers.
  • The mixing is labor-intensive, has low material efficiency, and bears the risk of batch-to-batch variations.

Analysis

  • Continuous slurry compounding reduces material loss, cleaning time, handling errors, and product variations.

Solution

What Is A Battery Energy Storage System

Electrodes And More: Electrode manufacturing process for lithium ion ...

The term BESS, or battery energy storage system, refers to a system that is more than just a battery. For a battery to function efficiently it needs additional components. A BESS typically includes a power conversion system, otherwise known as an inverter, which includes bi-directional power electronics used to charge and discharge the battery simultaneously. A power control system informs the inverter when to charge and discharge batteries. Additional cooling and fire-fighting systems are installed to prevent and contain any thermal related events. And finally, auxiliary power supplies as well as a storage container are needed to support and house the overall system.

Due to the complexity of a complete BESS, this article focuses on the batteries and their manufacturing only. For real-world projects, it is advised to keep in mind that the battery is only one part of the overall system. The other components and the interactions between them need to be evaluated with the same care to achieve high levels of BESS performance and safety.

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Secrets Of Lithium Battery Cell Production Process

Chinas lithium-ion batteries have claimed the top spot in the world in sales of lithium-ion power batteries. This proves that Chinese lithium battery has also broken through Japan and South Korea, is emerging as a global leader in the lithium-ion power battery industry. Why Chinas lithium battery can catch up with the rest of the world, has gained considerable development and international market recognition. Today, let Smart Propel take you to understand the production workshop of the lithium battery and check out how the high-quality cells produced.

The cell is the smallest unit of a battery system. A plurality of battery cells form a module, and then a plurality of modules form a battery pack, which is the basic structure of the vehicle power battery. A battery is like a container for storing electrical energy. How much of its capacity can be stored depends on how much active material is contained in the positive and negative plates. The design of positive and negative electrode plates needs to be tailored to different vehicle models. The molar capacity of positive and negative electrode materials, the ratio of active materials, the thickness of the electrode plate, and the density of compaction are also important.

Preparation of active materials Agitation process

This is the active material from the battery

Apply the beaten material paste to copper foil coating process

The next step is to slice the battery electrode through a knife.

Structure Of A Battery Rack

Before examining how battery cells are manufactured, it is good to understand how a battery rack is organised. Battery cells are similar in design to cell phone or laptop computer batteries, except that they are much larger. Cells are combined into a cell block using either a serial or parallel connection. Cell blocks are assembled into modules with communication ports to measure temperature and voltage. These modules are then connected within a rack, which provides the serial connection for battery modules. The battery rack will also include an upstream control system known as switchgear, which provides current sensors and communication protocols. It is important to note that this arrangement is based on IEC standard terminology and some may use different terminology.

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Manufacturing Of A Battery

At first glance, a battery has cells, modules and strings which makes it similar to a PV panel. However, major differences become obvious when comparing the individual cells. A PV cell operates according to the quantum photovoltaic effect a battery cell relies on chemical reactions. The operating principle of a battery is more like a chemical process engineering plant, and as a result the manufacturing processes differ significantly.

Unlike PV cells, lithium-ion battery cells need to be monitored individually for voltage, current and temperature for safety and performance reasons. The quality and accuracy of the battery management system plays an equally important role in the performance and safety of the overall battery system. That means all processes related to the manufacturing of the corresponding electronics need to be managed similarly to the production of a PV inverter.

Making a high performance, safe battery system is not rocket science, but it does require extensive diligence. The main challenge is in creating a three-dimensional structure out of a largely two-dimensional structure .

As an example, a common 50MWh BESS will have a surface area in the magnitude of 500,000 square meters of electrode pairs. Thats equivalent to the area of 70 soccer fields. If the BESS were coupled to a 50MWp PV power plant, the surface area of the battery cells would be larger than the surface area of the PV panels charging them.

What You Should Know About Manufacturing Lithium

How Lithium-Ion Batteries Are Made

Ensuring high quality levels in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries is critical to preventing underperformance and even safety risks. Benjamin Sternkopf, Ian Greory and David Prince of PI Berlin examine the prerequisites for finding the ‘sweet spot’ between a battery’s cost, performance and lifetime.

The proliferation of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in a wide range of applications has moved the technology clearly into the public eye. Debate about various battery types, their properties, cost and performance have become popular topics in private and professional discussions.

However, most of these discussions tend to put an excessive emphasis on the chemistry of the cells in the batteries. For example, whether a lithium iron phosphate battery is safer than a lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt battery. In truth, battery performance is affected by not just one, but up to five primary factors: cell chemistry, cell geometry, manufacturing quality, matching technology to application, and system integration.

Cell chemistry is considered to be the tip of the iceberg. It is the most visible characteristic, but the actual performance of battery systems in real-world applications seldom depends to a large degree on the cell chemistry. More often it is one of the other five factors.

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How Tailored Ph Measurement Solutions Increase Product Quality

Lithium-ion Battery Manufacturing

The production of a lithium-ion battery starts with high quality materials. Cathode Active Material and the precursor product are central to battery performance. During PCAM production, pH stability is critical, as explained in this application note. Lithium-ion battery performance with respect to charging and discharging depends greatly on the level of entrained impurities and uniformity of CAM particles. Therefore, PCAM production must be carefully controlled. The pH level during PCAM production in a crystallizer has significant impact on product quality. A shift of only 0.1 pH can strongly influence particle size shape and distribution, so highly accurate and continuous pH measurement is vital. However, precipitating metal hydroxides in the crystallizer will coat a pH sensor and lead to false measurements. If not caught early, process consistency is impacted and off-spec product is the result.

Design Of A Battery Cell

The purpose of a battery is to move electrons from the anode to the cathode while discharging the battery. This is accomplished by having lithium-ions, positively charged particles, moving through a microporous separator that is filled with an electrolyte, which prevents the passage of electrons. This process is sandwiched between a negatively charged copper collector and a positively charged aluminum collector. It is important to have homogenous surfaces to allow the lithium-ions to pass through easily.

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Battery Cathode Material And Elemental Composition

A cathodes active material is composed of lithium and, in the majority of the cases, one or several metals. Active materials have different characteristics depending on the type and proportion of metal in the cathode. For example, Ni has high capacity, Mn and Co have high safety, and Al increases the power of a battery. A cathode typically consists of a lithium transition metal oxide such as lithium-cobalt oxide and lithium-manganese oxide coated on metal foil .

The preferred cathode materials for EV batteries, on the other hand, are nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide O2, NCA), nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide O2, NMC), and lithium-iron-phosphate . It is fair to say, however, that battery development is a dynamic market and other types of batteries with a distinct cathode material structure are at the forefront, as for instance the Na-ion battery that was introduced by CATL in 2021.

Here the inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry provides a rapid detection method for the determination of major elements and trace impurities in material used in lithium batteries. The application notes below demonstrate a fast analytical method for the determination of major and trace elements in the ternary cathode material of lithium batteries using the Thermo Scientific iCAP PRO Series ICP-OES. The notes describe the method development as well as presenting key figures of merit, such as detection limits and stability.

Provenautomation Solutions For The Lithium

A review of laser electrode processing for development and ...

The spectacular growth for battery demand challenges gigafactories investments in their time-to-market capabilities. While production quality remains a necessary differentiator, line flexibility becomes a critical requirement to enable future product evolutions. As a result, Stäubli SCARA range is leading electrode stacking processes with major worldwide players. The whole robot range is also extensively used in downstream operations, in assembly and inspection.

Application

Lithium-ion battery module assembly

The advanced automation knowledge from Nordfels and the deep welding expertise from Voltlabor , delivered an amazingly efficient solution to lithium-ion battery modules assembly. The VOLTJET is a fully integrated cell, containing multiple inspection points and full traceability with the ability to process up to 100kWh battery capacity per hour. It uses Stäubli high-performing and repeatable robots for the cylindrical battery cells testing and assembly processes with a proprietary laser welding technology to form the battery module.

«Nordfels focus on premium quality and on long-term stability, and we have found with Stäubli the perfect partner»

Dr Johnnaes Kaar | CFO Nordfels

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This Move Seems Geared Towards The Next

Tesla has quietly bought the Richmond Hill, Ontario battery manufacturing company Hibar Systems to use its knowledge in battery manufacturing.

Public records show that the EV manufacturer bought the battery company sometime between July and October of 2019, according to Electric Autonomy Canada.

Both Tesla and Hibar have yet to comment on the matter, but federal documents show that prior to July 2019, Tesla Canada didnt own any subsidiary companies, and now its most recent documents list Hibar as a company that it holds, reports Electric Autonomy Canada.

Hibars website is now just a simple landing page with some contact information, but according to reports, it previously said that its truly unique in its capability to provide the worlds leading manufacturers with innovative advanced automation solutions that are engineered specifically to suit their production automation requirements.

It also mentioned, how it was, well-known for its high-speed integrated battery assembly lines and filling system, plus, the website which can be found by using the Wayback Machine, mentioned the company holds some intellectual property related to battery manufacturing technology.

The cash injection was to help the Ontario company develop a form of high-speed lithium-ion battery manufacturing process.

Since then, the company has flown under the radar until the reported acquisition from Tesla.

Battery Anode Material And Elemental Impurities

A state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery anode is commonly graphite-based. Though other carbon-based materials, such as graphene or silicon-based materials, tin-based materials, and metal oxides have been developed and may provide an alternative for next-generation batteries. Currently, most anode material is generally made from graphite powder.

Graphite powder is suitable for this application primarily because it is an easily molded, chemically stable, and non-metallic material with good electrical conductivity and high temperature, oxidation, and corrosion resistance. It also has a large lithium-ion diffusion coefficient with a high lithium insertion capacity and does not change volume with insertion of lithium ions. In addition, graphite powder can be modified through various oxidation and pyrolysis processes to generate a core-shell structure that can improve its charging/discharging performance and increase the anode lifetime. Therefore, graphite powder has become the main lithium-ion battery anode material in use today in smaller consumer goods, such as mobile phones, as well as in electric vehicles.

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Lithium Ion Battery Manufacturing

Honeywell is recognized globally by Lithium Ion Battery manufacturers as a knowledgeable automation & quality control partner that understands their unique industry requirements and offers expert insights to help elevate their business performance.

Honeywells advanced measurement and control technology is used in many critical areas of Lithium Ion Battery manufacturing, from the initial mixing process for anode and cathode electrodes to material coating, drying, winding/unwinding, pressing, and slitting.

Honeywell helps customers achieve more efficient operations by reducing scrap rates with accurate quality measurements and controls for uniform electrode coating and energy density.

Honeywell helps customers with existing operations upgrade to the latest QCS technology with valuable features such as synchronized same spot scanning, high-speed, high-accuracy basis weight and thickness measurements, and the latest in operations technology to improve the uniformity of foil coating and pressing production process.

Honeywell Solutions for Lithium Ion Battery Manufacturing For Greater Productivity, Improved Quality And Lower Costs.

Battery Manufacturing Instruments From Thermo Fisher Scientific

Lithium ion battery manufacturing process

During Process Development, versatility and easy handling are paramount. Moisture-sensitive materials, together with solvent vapors hazardous to health, often require electrode production to be carried out under inert atmosphere. Therefore, it is important to be able to operate all instrumentation in a containment area, such as a glove box, without compromising the equipments full benefits.

We provide lab- and pilot-scale extrusion equipment that is used globally by numerous academic and industrial market leaders in the area of battery development. Our solutions offer:

  • Small footprint The Thermo Scientific Process 11 Twin-Screw Compounder represents all functionalities of a production extruder scaled down to a lab-sized unit to fit into confined spaces in safety workbenches and glove boxes.
  • Robustness All electronics are fitted into the compact unit and show best performance when operated under inert atmosphere.
  • Split and removable barrel design Easy to open and close, even within tight spaces. Thorough cleaning with no dead spaces. Easy exchange of all contact parts to prevent cross-contamination when performing different application on the same instrument.
  • Segmented screw design Easy customization of mixing behavior for specific application needs.
  • Versatility Wide range of accessories to accommodate a wide variety of applications: granulation setup, film die and take-off, face-cut pelletizer for dry slurries, different die designs for slurry process.

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