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Post-lithium-ion battery cell production and its compatibility with lithium-ion cell production infrastructure


Lithium-ion batteries are currently the most advanced electrochemical energy storage technology due to a favourable balance of performance and cost properties. Driven by forecasted growth of the electric vehicles market, the cell production capacity for this technology is continuously being scaled up. However, the demand for better performance, particularly higher energy densities and/or lower costs, has triggered research into post-lithium-ion technologies such as solid-state lithium metal, lithium–sulfur and lithium–air batteries as well as post-lithium technologies such as sodium-ion batteries. Currently, these technologies are being intensively studied with regard to material chemistry and cell design. In this Review, we expand on the current knowledge in this field. Starting with a market outlook and an analysis of technological differences, we discuss the manufacturing processes of these technologies. For each technology, we describe anode production, cathode production, cell assembly and conditioning. We then evaluate the manufacturing compatibility of each technology with the lithium-ion production infrastructure and discuss the implications for processing costs.

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Fig. 1: Practical technology-specific volumetric and gravimetric energy densities and development of the rechargeable battery market size over time.
Fig. 2: Schematic electrode stack design for LIBs, SIBs, LSBs, SSBs and LABs, with associated active materials and areal capacity ranges typically used.
Fig. 3: Battery cell production chain for selected battery technologies.
Fig. 4: Prospective concepts for solvent-free electrode production.
Fig. 5: Concepts for lithium metal anode production.


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This work was supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the project ProLiFest (03XP0253A). We acknowledge A. Bar for the assistance in preparing Figs. 1–5.

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Correspondence to Fabian Duffner or Richard Schmuch.

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F.D. and N.K. are employees at Porsche Consulting GmbH. All other authors have no competing interests.

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Peer review information Nature Energy thanks Jianlin Li, Yan Wang and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Duffner, F., Kronemeyer, N., Tübke, J. et al. Post-lithium-ion battery cell production and its compatibility with lithium-ion cell production infrastructure. Nat Energy 6, 123–134 (2021).

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