SGL Group – The Carbon Company – is to develop know-how in lithium-ion battery cell production together with industry partners in the Lithium-ion Batteries Network of Expertise (KLiB). A research platform for industrial production of lithium-ion batteries was opened in Ulm today at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) in the presence of Federal Research Minister, Prof. Johanna Wanka, and other leading representatives from the areas of politics, business, and research. With an effective floor area of 3600 m², the facility will in future be used to develop processes and new materials for the production of large prismatic lithium-ion cells for automotive applications and stationary storage.
Frank Wittchen, Chairman of SGL Group’s Business Unit Graphite Specialties and a board member of the Lithium-ion Batteries Network of Expertise (KLiB), said: “This facility will close the gap between laboratory research and the development of lithium-ion cell production on an industrial scale in Germany. To make the breakthrough in electromobility, we must understand the interactions between material properties, processing parameters, and battery performance and develop economic production processes.”
SGL Group is a leading producer of graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries in the consumer sector and is also developing anode material for automotive applications. “With this research production line, we can test and optimize our new materials under near-production conditions, while leveraging the cooperation and expertise of renowned industry partners,” continued Frank Wittchen.
The first projects on the new research production line with our industry partners BASF SE, BMW AG, Daimler AG, Elring Klinger, Manz AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, Rockwood Lithium, and Siemens AG are due to start at the beginning of 2015.
The research platform is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Finance and Economic Affairs.