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Direct Production Methods for Battery Electrode Material Synthesis

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Materials

OBJECTIVE:

DLA seeks to provide responsive, best value supplies; in a manner, that consistently meets the customer's needs. DLA continually investigates diverse technologies for manufacturing improvements leading to the highest level of performance, and cost efficiency in battery products supporting fielded weapon systems with a future impact on both commercial technology and government applications. DLA seeks rapid, direct, production synthesis methods of battery-grade electrode materials to demonstrate the combination of improved battery manufacturing and operation, as well as improved business methods for affordability.


Proposed efforts funded under this topic must encompass specific synthesis methods for direct production of battery cathode/anode/electrolyte materials resulting in a cost reduction and improvement of battery product availability. It is preferred that technologies do not alter the form fit and function of the battery. Research and development efforts selected under this topic shall demonstrate and involve a degree of risk where the technical feasibility of the proposed work has yet to demonstrate a fully established maturity.


Further, proposed efforts must align between Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 and 6 to receive funding consideration. The definition of TRL 3 is -- analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept, and TRL 6 is -- system/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment.

DESCRIPTION:

DLA seeks to develop rapid material synthesis processes that are significantly lower cost and displace standard sintering and synthesis processes for battery electrode materials. The process must improve the industrial capability to deliver high power batteries to the Warfighter in a ready to use state with better shelf life, increased safety, lower cost, and decreased production lead-time. These solutions must apply innovations to improve the production and availability of batteries and reduce costs associated with the battery manufacturing process. Solutions that involve materials that benefit military requirements of high energy, high safety, and broad temperature range are preferred. Potential materials to be considered for rapid, scaled synthesis are:


  • Cathode
    • LCO
    • NMC
    • NCA
    • LMO
    • Lithium Cobalt or Iron Phosphates
  • Anode
    • LTO
  • Solid-State Electrolyte
    • LLZO (Li7La3Zr2O12) ceramic


These solutions must result in an improvement in the affordability and availability of specific battery products to DLA and its customers. The proposals must include an economic analysis of the expected market impact of the technology proposed. This topic seeks a substantial reduction of cost metrics and battery material availability. Incremental advancements will receive very little consideration. DLA seeks only projects the private sector considers too risky for ordinary capital investment.


PROJECT DURATION and COST:

  • Phase I: NTE 12 Months $150K- Base NTE $100K base 6 Months, - Option 1 NTE $50K base 6 Months
  • PHASE II: Phase II - NTE 24 Months $1.6M - Base 12-18 months, $1M Option 6 Months NTE $.6M

PHASE I:

Combine innovative approaches for modification and or functionalization of current and future battery electrode material synthesis. Incorporate material within the project to evaluate concept for proof-of-principle, and demonstration of the proof of principle in a controlled manufacturing environment. Demonstration will successfully detect and presumptively identify cost savings, reduced production lead-time, and an increase of availability.

PHASE II:

Develop applicable and feasible demonstrations of the electrode synthesis for the approach described, and demonstrate a degree of commercial viability. Validate the feasibility of the innovative material production process by demonstrating implementation in the production, testing, and integration of items for DLA. Validation would include, but not be limited to, prototype fabrication or low-rate initial production and demonstration of operation in a representative system. A partnership with a current or potential supplier to DLA is highly desirable. Identify any commercial benefit or application opportunities of the innovation. The development of innovative processes should proceed with the intent to readily transition to production in support of DLA and its supply chains

PHASE III:

Technology transition via successful demonstration of a new process technology. This demonstration must show near-term application to one or more Department of Defense systems, subsystems, or components. This demonstration must also verify the potential for enhancement of quality, reliability, performance and/or reduction of unit cost or total ownership cost of the proposed subject.


Private Sector Commercial Potential: Battery electrode material production methods have a direct applicability to all defense system technologies. Electrode material synthesis and related manufacturing technology and support systems have wide applicability to the defense industry including air, ground, sea, and weapons technologies. There is relevance to the private sector industries as well as civilian sector. Many of the technologies under this topic would be directly applicable to other DoD agencies, NASA, and any commercial manufacturing venue. Rapid, advanced, direct production synthesis methods for battery electrode materials would directly improve production in the commercial sector resulting in reduced cost and improved productivity.

KEYWORDS: Battery electrode material synthesis, cathode/anode/electrolyte material, direct production, rapid production, rapid synthesis, battery, technology insertion, automation, lithium, agile manufacturing, manufacturing cost, manufacturing efficiency, manufacturing quality, sustainable manufacturing

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