German mixing technology supplier Eirich will be showcasing its flexible, efficient and sustainable lithium-ion electrode mix processing technologies during this week’s Battery Show Europe.
By delivering high flexibility in terms of raw materials and processing methods, Eirich’s process technology lets battery makers— from laboratory to gigafactory scale— adjust quickly and smoothly to all raw materials, recipes and processing methods in battery production.
The firm’s MixSolver technology is an intensive mixer optimised for the processing of electrode mixes for lithium-ion batteries for throughputs of just a few hundred millilitres-per-hour up to 1,000 l/h.
Unlike conventional planetary mixing systems, the MixSolver features a rotating mixing pan with an eccentrically arranged mixing tool, with its geometry and speed adjustable to the processing application.
The system enables a process that creates a perfectly dispersed electrode slurry in 15-20 minutes.
Doctor Stefan Gerl, head of process engineering at Eirich, said: “With energy consumption of around 16Wh per litre on production machines and incredibly high solids contents, we achieve excellent performance when producing electrode slurries compared to other processes.”
Downstream from electrode slurry processing in the MixSolver is the ContiFeeder process that ensures a continuous feed of high-quality electrode mix and a continuous coater supply.
The process is the company’s response to the need for a high-performance system directly connected to the coater.
As with processing in the extruder, the electrode mix is emptied into a slurry tank attached to the mixer after the mixing procedure. This enables additional degasification, temperature control and quality assurance though inline sensors or samples.
Buffer tanks are used as intermediate storage on high-output systems. The last of these provides the coater with a continuous supply of slurry.
Gerl said: “We are responding to increased inline process control and IoT with our QualiMaster LiB system for quality assurance and process optimisation.”
Gerl believes that the next few years will see an increased trend towards dry-processed electrodes.
He said: “That is not a problem for us. The operating principle of the Eirich intensive mixer is perfectly suited to processing structured electrode dry mixes. All we have to do is adjust the operating method and a few parameters compared to electrode slurries.
“This means that Eirich customers no longer have to replace the mixer as and when processes or recipes change in future.”
Eirich will showcase its future-shaping solutions for lithium-ion batteries at the Battery Show Europe 2021 in hall 8, stand 126, which begins tomorrow (Tuesday).