About

The Faraday Institution's Nextrode project is one of six Faraday Institution projects which aim to optimise the performance of lithium ion technologies. Started in September 2019, it is a collaboration between six university partners and six industrial partners to research new methods for manufacturing smarter electrodes and to put them onto the path to commercialisation.

The university partners are the University of BirminghamUniversity College London, University of OxfordUniversity of SheffieldUniversity of Southampton and the University of Warwick.

At the Faraday Institution's 2020 Annual Conference, Professor Patrick Grant and Dr Rachel Smith gave an overview of the Nextrode project and an update on progress. Click here to view the presentation.

Further information on each of the workpackages can be found below.

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The aim of this work package is to alleviate key constraints in electrode manufacturing by particle level design that enhances downstream processing and improves electrode performance.

Our focus is in three main areas:

  • Co-operative conductive additive/binder 
  • Design of hierarchically structured particles 
  • Aqueous and solvent-free processing. 

Both Dr Denis Cumming and Dr Ruihuan Ge presented at the International Battery Production Conference 2021. Dr Cumming presented on "Electronic pathway length manipulation and impact on conductivity networks in lithium-ion battery electrodes" and the presentation can be found here. Dr Ge presented on "Modelling of Li-ion battery electrode calendering by discrete element method (DEM)". The presentation can be found here.

The aim of this work package is to develop novel metrology techniques and measurements during electrode manufacture to create additional design space and performance gain.

Our focus is in two main areas:

  • Mixing metrology 
  • Deposition metrology. 

The aim of this work package is to develop and implement a new generation of manufacturing technologies for smart electrodes supported by numerical design tools.

Our focus is in three main areas:

  • Graded electrodes 
  • Large-area templating
  • Additive manufacture.

Dr Yige Sun presented at the International Battery Production Conference 2021 on the "Schwarz-Primitive structured electrodes for lithium-ion battery via 3D printed wax templating". The presentation can be found here.

The aim of this work package is to link correlative X-ray and other imaging, image quantification and image based modelling to design optimal microstructures and inform manufacturing development

Our focus is in three main areas:

  • Multi-scale structural characterisation
  • Image-based modelling
  • Synthetic structures and structural identification. 

The aim of this work package is to develop new methods of quantifying and optimising electrode manufacture using data science.

Our focus is in four main areas:

  • Data strategy and experimental design
  • Data analysis
  • Model creation and predictive tools 
  • Economic and environmental assessment. 

Dr Geanina Apachitei presented at the International Battery Production Conference 2021 on the "Study of the cathode coating-drying manufacturing process by design of experiments". The presentation can be found here.

The aim of this work package is to establish a representative baseline of cell performance against which progress can be measured. Collecting this cell data via work package 5 will allow a variety of comparisons to be made, including between partners and over scales. New manufacturing approaches will be calibrated by comparing the resulting cell performance (at the same scale) to this baseline dataset. Here and in all workpackages we will make use of the world-class electrochemical and other characterisation facilities available at all partners.