The Basque center participates in the SEATBELT project, funded by the Horizon Europe program, to promote the technology of solid-state Metal-Lithium Gen. 4b batteries, which have the best prospects to replace the current Lithium-ion devices due to their capacity to meet the energy density specifications required by stationary and electromobility applications.

CIC energiGUNE, the Basque research center of reference in battery storage, thermal energy solutions and hydrogen technologies, and member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance-BRTA, participates in the European project SEATBELT, included in the Horizon Europe call of the European Commission, with the objective of facilitating the development of new-generation battery cells based on Lithium Metal anode that offer high performance to the storage industry.

Solid-state Gen. 4b Metal-Lithium batteries have excellent prospects to meet the cell of the gravimetric density specifications required by the different stationary and electromobility applications” has assured Pedro López-Aranguren, PI of the project at CIC energiGUNE. “The main objective of SEATBELT is to develop a battery cell that offers everything that the electromobility and stationary industries require in order to make the definitive step towards this technology”, he has said.

SEATBELT’s solid-state lithium-metal battery cell within hybrid electrolyte in situ is designed to achieve high energy densities (>380 Wh/kg) and long cyclability (>500 cycles). Likewise, it will be manufactured using a low-cost solvent-free extrusion process comprising a combination of innovative materials: thin lithium metal, hybrid electrolyte, a safe cathode active material without critical components and a very thin aluminum current collector.

Three of CIC energiGUNE´s researchers involved in the Seatbelt project, work in one of the laboratories at the basque research center.

All of this will open the door to the development of a new generation of efficient and safe battery materials that meet the European criteria of decarbonization, sustainability, affordability and self-sufficiency in production. In fact, the intention of the SEATBELT  consortium partners is to facilitate the creation of a local EU industry that revolves around a cost-effective, solid electrolyte Lithium battery with sustainable materials by 2026.

At SEATBELT, CIC energiGUNE will contribute to crucial aspects of the process, such as the synthesis of new superionic halide electrolytes; physicochemical and structural characterization of the halide electrolyte in situ; ionic transport properties, and atomistic modeling calculations applied to interface analysis.

Apart from CIC energiGUNE, 19 entities, companies and research centers of the continent take part in the SEATBELT project, led by the CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. It should be noted that, in addition to CIC energiGUNE, there are other representatives of the Basque research ecosystem, such as Polymat and the UPV/EHU, as well as relevant European industry players such as Renault or Blue Solutions.

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