Sakuu's 3D printed solid state battery could be a boon for electric vehicles

nanoguy

Posts: 990   +14
Staff member
Something to look forward to: Solid-state batteries are still nebulous outside of the lab. Still, automakers are scrambling to be the first in the race to build the first electric car to take advantage of the added energy density and better safety when compared to lithium-ion designs. To that end, they're investing in companies like QuantumScape, Solid Power, and Sakuu to develop manufacturing techniques that either build on existing approaches or rely on new additive manufacturing technology.

Earlier this year, an MIT study revealed that lithium-ion battery costs have fallen by more than 97 percent since its commercial introduction almost 30 years ago. Not only that, but industry watchers are optimistic that by 2025 lithium-ion battery manufacturing capacity will have tripled while the price per kilowatt-hour is expected to dip below $100.

The dip has spurred automakers to get serious about making electric cars, but the fact of the matter is that price is only part of the equation of making it a better choice for consumers and the environment. The importance of safety cannot be overstated, as evidenced by GM's recall last year for more than 68,000 Chevy Bolts. On that front, researchers are hard at work developing a new cathode coating that not only makes lithium-ion batteries safer but could also improve their energy density.

Various companies are banking on solid-state batteries to solve these issues. Such is the case of the 3D-printing startup called Sakuu (formerly KeraCel) that claims to have developed a lithium-metal solid-state battery that offers equal or better performance compared to the lithium-ion batteries currently in use.

Sakuu's cell has a capacity of 3Ah and is made using the company's additive manufacturing technology, set for a commercial launch in the coming months. On a second generation, Sakuu plans to minimize the overall volume of all the elements using a binder jet printing process developed by MIT. This method allows the company to deposit thin layers of metal and ceramic in a single build.

The process is relatively slow, but the results are batteries that are half the size and one-third the weight of their lithium-ion counterparts, which is no small feat. Sakuu says it plans to begin mass-producing the new batteries in early 2022 and is currently exploring higher voltage cathodes for an up to 25 percent boost in energy density. The initial capacity will be a relatively modest 1 GWh, but if achieved, it will represent a milestone in the commercialization of solid-state batteries.

Another important factor for batteries is longevity, and this has sparked a fierce debate about how we're going to deal with dead batteries from electric cars as they pile up. The current crop of EV batteries isn't designed to be recycled. Consumer Reports estimates these will last anywhere between 100,000 to 200,000 miles before their ability to hold a charge degrades significantly. Last year, Tesla battery supplier CATL promised to begin manufacturing batteries that could last for 1.24 million miles before they need to be replaced.

In the end, the solution to the problem will most likely be a combination of better battery chemistry, innovative manufacturing, and the creative reuse and recycling of old batteries.

As it stands, solid-state lithium-metal battery designs are still unproven in terms of stability, despite offering better energy density and increased safety when compared to lithium-ion. Companies like QuantumScape, Solid Power, and Samsung say they have a few solutions for this issue. Most are targeting a 2022-2023 timeline for mass production of the new battery cells, so it won't be long before we can see if they'll live up to the hype.

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Bulllee

Posts: 229   +157
Interesting about the longevity of those pesky batteries.
But so far so good.
I live in a city near a wind farm......supplier of the charge.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 880   +775
Didn't realise they aren't recyclable. That's a disgrace and makes a mockery of the so-called green credentials of EV's and the EU's ridiculous time frame for forcing people into cars that cost a lot more and weigh an obscene amount. Even cr@ppy little SUV's are around 2 ton and we have so-called sports cars weighing 2.4-2.5 ton.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,687   +1,737
TechSpot Elite
Didn't realise they aren't recyclable. That's a disgrace and makes a mockery of the so-called green credentials of EV's and the EU's ridiculous time frame for forcing people into cars that cost a lot more and weigh an obscene amount.
Sometimes green can mean greener, or more green. Or much more green than the current standard. Shame that still doesn't get through.

I'm curious why weight bothers you folks. If I can get the reported test results, and it actually does handle like it's on rails, I don't give a damn if it is standard size but weighs as much as an 18 wheeler.
 

umbala

Posts: 417   +608
Great, another article about pie in the sky battery technologies. We've been hearing this crap for 10+ years now at least and there's still nothing really new out there. It's just small improvements over time, but nothing revolutionary like all the tech listed in this article. *yawn* Wake me up when I can actually buy NEW battery tech.
 

clrnng

Posts: 10   +13
Sometimes green can mean greener, or more green. Or much more green than the current standard. Shame that still doesn't get through.

I'm curious why weight bothers you folks. If I can get the reported test results, and it actually does handle like it's on rails, I don't give a damn if it is standard size but weighs as much as an 18 wheeler.

Your electric car won't handle like its on rails if it weighs like an 18 wheeler. Weight is a limiting factor in wider use of electric propulsion. Once the weight comes down dramatically, we could have e-taxi, delivery drones, or even electrically powered planes with usable range.
 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,962   +6,235
lithium-ion battery costs have fallen by more than 97 percent since its commercial introduction almost 30 years ago
Not in the shops they didn't, not even close. When the asking price for a pack of 6 x AAA is 6 euro, you know you are being robbed blindly. The manufacturer most likely sells those for something like 50c.

When you need those a lot, life is easier, as you can buy a large bulk of those from Amazon for cheap. But most people need only very few batteries, like myself, and so ending up over-paying absurdly.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,254   +7,025
No doubt as time goes on the improvements will continue but I'm waiting to see the first "real world" applications show up. All the elements of these batteries are "recoverable" but it's not yet economical to the point that businesses are willing to invest the money. This might be one good investment for the Dept. of Energy to help out. They have managed to do it with Thorium, certainly they can do it with these batteries if they will be granted the funding.
 
Didn't realise they aren't recyclable. That's a disgrace and makes a mockery of the so-called green credentials of EV's and the EU's ridiculous time frame for forcing people into cars that cost a lot more and weigh an obscene amount. Even cr@ppy little SUV's are around 2 ton and we have so-called sports cars weighing 2.4-2.5 ton.

They are, just not cheaply. Not really a problem anyways. Even Nissan leaf batteries that degraded fast because Nissan were *****s and had no active cooling system still are very valuable after the cars are scrapped (look at current ebay prices). Old batteries will still have > 60 percent of their original capacity. Someone will always be willing to buy them and turn them into some sort of off grid energy storage. Even as batteries get cheaper there will always be individuals in the 3rd world who will want cheap/old used ones. Heck, in a lot of parts of Africa they are using solar panels combined with lead acid car batteries (in fact about 1/2 of the lead acid batteries produced in the world are used for energy storage and not cars). Lead acid batteries suck and, in general, die after a few years of use and literally give people lead poisoning if you don't recycle them carefully. Even degraded lithium ion batteries are better than lead acids.
 
Didn't realise they aren't recyclable.

As others have said, they ARE recyclable. The first stage after a battery pack has reached end-of-life on an EV is to use them as bridging-storage in local solar and wind generators. The batteries can then be stripped apart and the individual cells stripped down to recover Lithium, Cobalt etc.

However, this is still quite expensive and limited, but plants are being built now in a number of countries, and in the next 4-6 years the costs and practicality will significantly improve.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,581   +4,988
Sometimes green can mean greener, or more green. Or much more green than the current standard. Shame that still doesn't get through.

I'm curious why weight bothers you folks. If I can get the reported test results, and it actually does handle like it's on rails, I don't give a damn if it is standard size but weighs as much as an 18 wheeler.
Most people wrongly claim that EVs charged from coal plants are dirtier than ICE/fossil fuel vehicles. Its easy enough to find the research that states this, but most people seem more interested in parroting the views of others. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikesc...-cleaner-even-when-the-power-comes-from-coal/
"The idea that electric vehicles or electric heat pumps could increase emissions is essentially a myth," said lead author Dr Florian Knobloch, from the University of Nijmegen. "We've seen a lot of discussion about this recently, with lots of disinformation going around. Here is a definitive study that can dispel those myths. We have run the numbers for all around the world, looking at a whole range of cars and heating systems.

"Even in our worst-case scenario, there would be a reduction in emissions in almost all cases. This insight should be very useful for policy-makers."
http://redgreenandblue.org/2019/01/21/evs-cleaner-gas-powered-cars-even-plug-coal-power-plant/
But what the heck. Why search for truth when outright crap information fits the narrative?
(read this next link carefully)
https://www.reuters.com/business/au...become-cleaner-than-gasoline-cars-2021-06-29/
 

SRB

Posts: 25   +37
Sometimes green can mean greener, or more green. Or much more green than the current standard. Shame that still doesn't get through.

I'm curious why weight bothers you folks. If I can get the reported test results, and it actually does handle like it's on rails, I don't give a damn if it is standard size but weighs as much as an 18 wheeler.
Really great line if it were true. EV's cost a fortune in lost time and productivity, range metric are a lot like the EPA fuel economy ratings...nobody gets the numbers they claim. Infrastructure and build out of charging as ubiquitous and plentiful as gas stations is more like 50 years away, and will have to be 2-3 times the size as charging times are lengthy. Haul or load anything and the range is cut by 40%, grid does not support it, True electric cars bigger than a shoe box are $6ok to $100+k investments. If and when you solve all of this, what do you suppose the emissions from the power plants add up to? We'd have to triple our generation capacity at least to pull this off. For the gentleman who was bragging he's green and lives near a wind farm, I'd be good with this if just ONE of these "green energy" customers relied 100% on said generation, rather than backup gas generators or supplanted with grid power.
Bottom line, nothing wrong with finding better ways to power our world...I just wish these people were honest about the challenges and work toward solving those rather than impossible mandates. Seems to me thiese are just ways to increase costs to the average and poor people to make the well to do and environmentalist happy. Make us pay for our sins, whether we can afford it or not.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,581   +4,988
<p>As it stands, solid-state lithium-metal battery designs are still <a href="https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2021/05/long-lasting-stable-solid-state-lithium-battery#">unproven</a> in terms of stability, despite offering better energy density and increased safety when compared to lithium-ion. Companies like <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/quantumscape-solid-state-battery/">QuantumScape</a>, <a href="https://electrek.co/2021/05/03/bmw-ford-invest-130-million-round-solid-state-battery/">Solid Power</a>, and <a href="https://news.samsung.com/global/sam...lid-state-battery-technology-to-nature-energy">Samsung</a> say they have a few solutions for this issue. Most are targeting a 2022-2023 timeline for mass production of the new battery cells, so it won't be long before we can see if they'll live up to the hype.</p><p><a rel='alternate' href='https://www.techspot.com/news/90878-sakuu-3d-printed-solid-state-battery-could-boon.html' target='_blank'>Permalink to story.</a></p><p class='permalink'><a rel='alternate' href='https://www.techspot.com/news/90878-sakuu-3d-printed-solid-state-battery-could-boon.html'>https://www.techspot.com/news/90878-sakuu-3d-printed-solid-state-battery-could-boon.html</a></p>[/parsehtml]
The important thing, IMO, is that research is progressing. For instance: https://phys.org/news/2019-08-main-culprit-lithium-metal-battery.html
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,581   +4,988
Seems to me thiese are just ways to increase costs to the average and poor people to make the well to do and environmentalist happy. Make us pay for our sins, whether we can afford it or not.
Yes, everything is a conspiracy these days. :facepalm: Anything else from the tin-foil hat world you would like to add such as a link to reputable studies that back-up anything you said?
EDIT: I am not saying problems do not exist, they do. However, I also do not think that those problems should lead people to throw up their hands and exclaim "it cannot be done, so lets just keep doing the same thing over and over until things are such a mess that we have to have Elon Musk transport us all to Mars - so we can f-up Mars, too."
 
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SRB

Posts: 25   +37
Yes, everything is a conspiracy these days. :facepalm: Anything else from the tin-foil hat world you would like to add such as a link to reputable studies that back-up anything you said?
EDIT: I am not saying problems do not exist, they do. However, I also do not think that those problems should lead people to throw up their hands and exclaim "it cannot be done, so lets just keep doing the same thing over and over until things are such a mess that we have to have Elon Musk transport us all to Mars - so we can f-up Mars, too."
I'm sorry, did I miss something...which part do you find a conspiracy or unbelievable? The grid failed in Texas this winter due to green energy sources not producing like they should and removing the natural gas pumping systems from the gas wells. California's grid is always on the verge of failure. Current electricity generation is mostly from natural gas and coal...renewables are very low down the list. Mandating electric vehicles and severely cutting our own energy production has only resulted in gasoline being driven up by $1.00 a gallon or more in just a year. There is STILL no such thing as an affordable EV larger than a shoe box. I can find the study about someone attaching a 2,000 lb trailer to a Tesla Model X, causing a 40% drop in range, but everyone knows that the more you load a battery, the shorter the time to drain. That goes for acceleration, etc.
I don't believe I said DO NOTHING, quite the opposite, I said I'm for better sources..but paying $10.00 a gallon for gas and paying $75k for my next car are not on the list...This is NOT a conspiracy, it's a result of these policies that are NOT ready for prime time.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,687   +1,737
TechSpot Elite
I'm sorry, did I miss something...which part do you find a conspiracy or unbelievable? The grid failed in Texas this winter due to green energy sources not producing like they should and removing the natural gas pumping systems from the gas wells. California's grid is always on the verge of failure. Current electricity generation is mostly from natural gas and coal...renewables are very low down the list. Mandating electric vehicles and severely cutting our own energy production has only resulted in gasoline being driven up by $1.00 a gallon or more in just a year. There is STILL no such thing as an affordable EV larger than a shoe box. I can find the study about someone attaching a 2,000 lb trailer to a Tesla Model X, causing a 40% drop in range, but everyone knows that the more you load a battery, the shorter the time to drain. That goes for acceleration, etc.
I don't believe I said DO NOTHING, quite the opposite, I said I'm for better sources..but paying $10.00 a gallon for gas and paying $75k for my next car are not on the list...This is NOT a conspiracy, it's a result of these policies that are NOT ready for prime time.
I haven't read anything so uninformed and down right bullshit in months. Just part 1 of many, everyone in Texas now knows that the failure had nothing to do with the small amount of renewable energy plants that simple maintenance or a 6th grade education wouldn't have fixed.

Where the hell do you people get this stuff?

Maybe you should read it for yourself directly from Texas:
 
Didn't realise they aren't recyclable. That's a disgrace and makes a mockery of the so-called green credentials of EV's and the EU's ridiculous time frame for forcing people into cars that cost a lot more and weigh an obscene amount. Even cr@ppy little SUV's are around 2 ton and we have so-called sports cars weighing 2.4-2.5 ton.

First of all, saying they aren't recyclable is pretty misleading. EV batteries last a LONG time. This has already been proven. Then, when they no longer have the requisite energy density for mobile storage (I.e. in a car) they can be reused for stationary storage (I.e. for the grid or residential use). Only then, after they are no longer useable for those two purposes, which we don't even have a timeframe on because the batteries just keep going and going and going longer even than expected (and newer ones will go much, much further!), will they need to be recycled.

Which leads to the second part of how misleading that statement is. They ARE in fact recyclable. And the processes are actively being refined and improved by numerous companies. Furthermore, we could require battery sellers to take back their old batteries and have them recycled at the end of their life. By the time today's batteries actually reach end of life, recycling processes will be vastly superior to what they are now. Just think about the insanity of how far the batteries themselves have come in 30 years: I mean they're not only now energy dense and last longer, but they're a wopping 97% cheaper!!!

Meanwhile, burning fossil fuels only contributes to obliterate the planet.

Don't forget, just because something isn't perfect, does NOT negate the fact that it is still orders of magnitude better. To think that the fact it isn't perfect means it isn't worth it is, to put it bluntly, an astonishing failure of critical thinking.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,314   +533
While I do support advances in battery technology, especially for smaller mobile devices, and as an auxiliary power source in cars and planes, none of this will make electric cars more useful.

A completely new energy source is required. Either something you can pour inside of the car (like hydrocarbons, or hydrogen, or liquid electrolyte) or an onboard electricity generator powered by..... something. That's how electric cars become ubiquitous. Batteries will never reach the energy density of simple hydrocarbons (such as gasoline, or natural gas, or even ordinary sugar).