The worldwide reliable electricity supply of households has to be boosted by developing efficient, cost-effective and sustainable non-lithium-based energy storage systems. These innovative battery technologies coupled with renewable energy sources should also be operational in regions of the world with deficient power supply infrastructure.
In order to accelerate the development of such novel electrochemical storage systems, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched the “Weltspeicher” pilot innovation programme that consists of a concept and a project phase. During the one-year concept phase, a technical and economical approach for a 10 kWh storage system has to be developed for implementation in the subsequent project phase. The technical design and cost calculation should take in account load cycles from renewable energy sources in Europe and Sub-Saharan countries. Within the framework of the competition, two research projects with DFI participation were selected, which started on 1 June 2020.
The interdisciplinary project "AlkaliBattery" is based in the DFI research groups High Temperature Materials and Electrochemistry with the affiliated inventors' association AlkaliBatterY. It aims at the development of a not yet described redox system consisting of a mixture of environmentally friendly, cost-effectively producible inorganic salts (such as sodium hydroxide, sodium nitrate and nitrite / pickling salt) and sodium metal with exceptionally high energy density.
The "ALISS" project aims at developing an aluminium-ion battery (AIB) made of inexpensive, sufficiently available, non-toxic and recyclable aluminium and graphite materials as electrodes and aluminium salt as electrolyte. The main tasks of “Batteries & Fuel Cells” team within Chemical Technology group at DFI is to incorporate the electrode materials optimized at project partner JLU Giessen (AG Janek & AG Smarsly) into cylindrical and prismatic cells and evaluate their electrochemical performance. Another target is to estimate the overall production costs for a 10 kWh AIB pack including operation and maintenance over a 10 years period in collaboration with the associated partner Iolitec GmbH company.