New BMBF-funded joint project SUSTRAB launched

On the way towards the green battery

Press release /

Worldwide, the topic of sustainability is currently the focus of a wide variety of development processes. Due to the increasing use of batteries, e.g. in the automotive industry, the recycling of batteries, i.e. the recovery of battery materials, is also of great importance. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF is funding three joint projects on the 'Sustainable Battery', including the SUSTRAB project in which the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST is also involved.

REM-Aufnahme von Kathodenaktivmaterialien nach der Synthese.
© Fraunhofer IST
REM-Aufnahme von Kathodenaktivmaterialien nach der Synthese.

In the project "Sustainable and Transparent Battery Materials Value Chains for a Circular Battery Economy" (SUSTRAB), strategies for increasing transparency and resource efficiency within the value chain of battery materials and cells are being investigated. One objective is to evaluate and improve a possible recycling of cathode active material. This is where the work at the Fraunhofer IST comes in. The researchers are addressing the systematic and holistic investigation of the synthesis of cathode active materials on the basis of different primary and secondary raw materials. The primary raw materials used in the project are obtained from Australian sources and compared with commercially available primary raw materials. This also brings another of the project's aims to the fore - an intensification of cross-value chain research cooperation with Australia.

In addition to this, battery materials used to date are to be investigated in greater detail by means of targeted characterization methods and the results made available within a data platform covering the entire battery value chain. The Fraunhofer IST is also involved here and will carry out chemical characterization methods, analyze input and output streams as well as the intermediate products with regard to their impurities, and evaluate the cathode materials produced with regard to microstructural and physicochemical properties. Initial experimental work on the production of the cathode materials from primary and secondary raw materials with accompanying characterization of the material properties is expected to begin in spring 2022.

About the project

The SUSTRAB project is coordinated by the Institute of Machine Tools and Production Technology (IWF) at the TU Braunschweig. Together with the other collaborative partners BASF SE, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST and BELLA (Battery and Electrochemistry Laboratory) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the TU Braunschweig is relying on cooperation with Australia as a major supplier of raw materials. The project is funded by the BMBF with approx. 2.65 million euros. Project duration is from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2024. 

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