The Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) has recently made significant advancements in the technology for all-solid-state batteries, specifically the sulfide-based kind. These batteries offer benefits such as fire and explosion safety. KERI has developed a novel technology for mass-producing low-cost solid electrolytes.
The innovation by KERI is based on a unique “one-pot” synthesis methodology. This approach allows the production of highly pure solid electrolytes without the use of expensive lithium sulfides and additives. Two main methods are used for creating solid electrolytes: dry synthesis utilizing high-energy ball milling, and wet synthesis using chemical reactions in a solution.
The KERI team decided to focus on the wet synthesis approach due to its scalability and mass production advantages. Through their research, they successfully created high-purity solid electrolytes by optimizing the reaction of the synthesis in the solvent. One major benefit of this technique is that it eliminates the need for expensive lithium sulfides, which account for 95% of the material costs for starting solid electrolyte production.
Additionally, the process avoids the residual impurities left by unreacted lithium sulfides during wet synthesis, which can degrade the performance of the battery. Other proposed synthesis methods that don’t require lithium sulfides often require costly additives and may still leave residual impurities that can affect overall performance.
KERI’s one-pot synthesis method enables the creation of high-quality solid electrolytes without the use of lithium sulfides or additional additives, while also eliminating the need for extra processes. This method is highly cost-effective, reducing material costs to 1/25th of existing processes and speeding up production time, which is crucial for mass production.
The success of KERI’s method is attributed to their extensive experience in solid electrolyte production, which led them to discover an easy and quick way to manufacture high-purity solid electrolytes. They achieved this through an optimized combination of starting materials’ chemical reactions in organic solvents.
The researchers at KERI are optimistic that their innovation can address the challenges hindering the commercialization of all-solid-state batteries, particularly in terms of price competitiveness and mass production. KERI has also applied for a patent for this unique technology. In order to further develop and commercialize their achievement, the institute is seeking opportunities for technology transfers and expects significant interest from companies working on all-solid-state batteries.