Lithium-Ion technology for batteries to dominate the market over the next decade

Lithium-ion technology is expected to continue to dominate the market for rechargeable batteries over the next decade. This is the conclusion reached by a team of battery researchers led by Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU), Germany, in a study on lithium-ion battery (LIB) manufacturing and alternative technologies.
For 2030, global production of rechargeable batteries is expected to increase from currently 750 GWh per year to 1,500 GWh. The study suggests that the established LIB »will dominate the market for rechargeable high-energy batteries in the medium term.« Alternative battery technologies, especially solid-state batteries, but also lithium-sulfur or lithium-air batteries, are being intensively researched, but are not yet being mass-produced on an industrial scale. Based on the numerous production capacities for LIBs currently being created, a switch to so-called post-lithium-ion batteries (PLIB) would involve new process technologies, production environments and competencies, and would therefore require investments in the billions.
The LIB production processes cannot be transferred one-to-one to most downstream technologies. Only the production of sodium-ion batteries is comparable with that of lithium-ion batteries in many process steps. However, since this type of battery has so far had a significantly lower energy content, it does not represent a prospect for the mass market served by lithium-ion technology. The production processes of other post-lithium-ion batteries would be »significantly different from the production of lithium-ion batteries.«
Lithium-ion technology »combines advantageous characteristics such as energy and power density, safety, lifetime, and low cost. In addition, the production facilities currently being built around the world are already creating facts that are likely to make it difficult for potential downstream technologies to catch up,« says Richard Schmuch, deputy head of materials at the MEET Battery Research Center. Together with Fabian Duffner, Institute for Business Management at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy at WWU and Porsche Consulting GmbH, he was in charge of the analysis.
The research team published an article on manufacturing processes for different battery types in »Nature Energy«.

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