Stuttgart, February 2021 – In October last year, Coperion GmbH supplied a ZSK 18 MEGAlab twin screw extruder and two high accuracy gravimetric Coperion K-Tron feeders to the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) in Ulm/Germany, a leading international institute for research into energy technologies. The Coperion extruder has been specially equipped with new functions for research in the field of battery production, which enable highly flexible use for development work. The extruder also allows for safe handling of the hazardous materials used in the manufacture of battery masses.
With the Coperion extruder, the ZSW can now work on the very latest issues in the production of battery electrodes. In the current manufacturing process for this type of electrodes, the active materials are drawn in a film from a solution of the toxic NMP (N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone) onto a carrier film and then slowly dried in long ovens. In this research project the use of extruders will mean that NMP will not be needed at all in the future. Furthermore, the required drying time will also be drastically reduced and batteries with higher energy content can be produced. The aim of the work being carried out at the ZSW is to design a complete industrial process chain, from the component feeder to direct transmission of the extrudate onto a collector film in a roll-to-roll process.