TECHNOLOGY

When you need a battery that offers better performance than traditional technologies, is more sustainable and more cost-competitive”

Aluminium-ion

Benefits of Aluminium-ion batteries

  • Specific energy
    From the electrochemical point of view, Aluminium-ion batteries have higher specific energy than nickel-cadmium or lead-acid batteries. They can reach 80 Wh/kg. The technology developed by Albufera, adaptable to any battery format, is presented in 1.5 V pouch cells.
  • Cyclability
    With a cyclability of more than 6,000 charge and discharge cycles, Aluminium-ion batteries maintain their initial capacity performance.
  • Depth of Discharge
    Supports 100% Depths of Discharge (DOD) without losing performance and reduces total cost of ownership as there is no need to oversize the battery to meet the demands of a particular application.
  • High efficiency
    Aluminum-ion batteries have very high efficiency. The amount of energy used for charging is practically equal to the energy it returns during discharge. In Albufera we develop Aluminum-ion batteries with efficiency values ​​greater than or equal to 90%, and with a similar behaviour both at very slow charge / discharge speeds (10h) and at fast charge / discharge speeds (1h).
  • Safety
    Unlike lithium or sodium-based batteries, aluminum stands out for its stability and low flammability and this translates into increased battery safety compared to current technologies. The rest of the components that make up the batteries that we develop in Albufera are also stable, none are flammable and do not present any risk while being handle.
  • Working temperature
    Aluminum-ion batteries allow us to work in a wide range of temperatures of between 0 ° C and 50 ° C without irreversible loss of capacity as it happens in Lithium-ion batteries. Furthermore, the Aluminum-ion batteries developed by Albufera show improved capacity properties with increasing temperature.

In summary…

  • Cycle life: > 6,000 cycles at 100% depth of discharge.
  • Full recovery of capacity: in low temperature operation or self-discharge.
  • Lower cost: requires neither control electronics nor complex protection.
  • Specific energy: in continuous progress and with the potential to reach 80 Wh/kg with the development of new nanomaterials, as well as an improvement in the properties of the electrolyte.
  • Voltage: nominal 1.5 V cells.
  • Working temperature: ranging from 0 ° C to 50 ° C without losing performances.
  • Charge/discharge rate: supports very slow charge and discharge rates of 10 hours, or very fast, of 1 hour.
  • Roundtrip efficiency: greater than 90%.

Sustainability

The Aluminum-ion battery only uses sustainable raw materials, compatible with humans, with a high recycling rate and very low environmental impact, obtained in an ethical and respectful way both with the environment and with humans.

For the manufacturing of our anodes, we use:

  • High purity aluminium with the lower carbon footprint in aluminium production.
  • 100% renewable hydroelectric energy throughout the supply chain.

Through fractional crystallization, a segregated manufacturing process, the required energy consumption is dramatically reduced.

 

They do not contain heavy, toxic or carcinogenic metals (unlike lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries), they are not flammable, they do not generate hot spots during the charging process so they are not prone to burn or explode.

 

In any of its configurations.

 

They do not require special conditions in their transport, except those that apply to batteries with liquid electrolyte, or due to electrical risk, if they exceed a direct current voltage in terminals greater than 60 VDC.

 

They are safer to manufacture, store and transport by land, sea and air.

 

Aluminum-ion technology received the Seal of Excellence in H2020 EIC Accelerator Pilot – SME Instrument – Green Deal call , in recognition of its quality proposal evaluated in a competitive environment and its contribution to the objective of the European Green Deal related to the transition of the industry towards a clean and circular economy.

Cost-efficient technology

 

From an economic point of view, aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust (8.3% by weight) and the third element with the most presence after oxygen and silicon.

 

It presents a very advanced and developed industry for its obtention and recycling.

 

On the other hand, the energy and economic expenditure involved in obtaining the raw materials for aluminum electrodes is between 3 and 5 times lower than that the one necessary for obtaining the raw material for the electrodes in lithium batteries.

 

The production cost of Aluminum-ion batteries is lower than lithium-ion batteries and is more competitive against lead-acid and nickel-cadmium batteries.

 

Since the rest of the raw materials involved do not present volatility in their prices, and some are even obtained as by-products of other processes in the chemical and steel industry, it offers revaluation opportunities and favors the circular economy.

TechnologyLithium-ionLead-acidNickel-CadmiumAluminium-ion
Specific Energy (Wh/kg)90 – 20025 – 4020 – 4030 – 80
Cycle life2.0001.8001.0006.000
Depth of Discharge, DOD (%)8060100100
DOD correction factor(%)204000
Roundtrip efficiency (%)95706590
Efficiency correction factor (%)5303510
CAPEX (€/kWh)300150400100
Cost of battery storage (per kWh stored and cycle, €/kWh·cycle)0,190,150,540,02

Table conclusions

 

Aluminum-ion batteries offer 6,000 cycles at 100% depth of discharge, and maintain their initial performances, with an efficiency of 90%.

 

For a 1 kWh battery, with the same energy input, the cost per kWh and cycle is reduced to € 0.02, compared to € 0.19 / kWh and cycle for a Lithium-ion battery, € 0.15 for Lead-acid € 0.54 for Nickel-Cadmium.

Prototypes

After reaching an appropriate technology readiness level, it is time to leave the laboratory and begin the journey of scaling the technology to a commercial product. With our pilot line of Aluminum-ion cell prototypes we are able to offer different battery solutions for stationary applications.

 

Interested in learning more about our Aluminum-ion prototypes?

We inform you about investment opportunities in this technology

R&D

Since its birth in 2013, Albufera has based its main activity on high-quality research for the development of aluminum batteries, through participation in national and international projects, alone or in consortium in relevant calls.

NEOTEC

Development of a rechargeable Aluminium-air battery
(2013 - 2015)
Call CDTI
Exp: XP 00065654 / IDI-20131124

ALION

High Specific Energy Aluminium-ion rechargeable decentralised electricity generation sources.
(2015 - 2019)

Call H2020-NMP13-2014 (GA: 646286)
This project is funded by the European Union

ARGOS

Al-air Primary cells for Growing Energy Storage Markets
(2015 – 2016)

Call Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO)
SME Horizon Program

ALPAM

Aluminium-air primary battery for powering portable devices in military applications
(2015 – 2017)

Call Ministry of Defense
PROGRAM COINCIDENTE
Exp. 1003215003300

SMART ALAIR

2016
Call INCENsE Accelerator led by ENEL& ENDESA
INCENSe Project Has Received Funding From The European Union Seventh Framework Programme Under Grant Agreement N° 632852

ALIENA

Call Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO)
(2016 – 2019)

Program Retos Colaboración-2015
RTC-2015-4471-3

CEBRA

High efficiency cathodes for Metal-air rechargeable batteries
(2016 – 2019)

Call Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO)
Torres Quevedo Program
PTQ-14-07037

SALBAGE

Sulfur-Aluminium Battery with Advanced Polymeric Gel Electrolytes
Batería de Azufre-Aluminio con electrolitos avanzados de Gel polimérico.
(2017 – 2020)

Convocatoria H2020-FETOPEN-1-2016-2017 CALL.
GA Nº 766581

This project is funded by the European Union

REACT

Renewable Energy for self-sustAinable island CommuniTies
(2019 – 2022)

Call H2020-LC-SC3-2018-ES-SCC (GA: 824395)
This project is funded by the European Union

O2FREE

Metal-air battery integration for cargo compartment fire suppression
Development of Metal-air batteries for cargo compartment inert rendering in planes.
(2020 – 2022)

Call H2020-CS2-CFP11-2020-01.
GA: 101008179

Through an internal commitment to innovation, we have made progress in different aluminum battery configurations, and in the development of new electrolytes and electrode materials.

 

Each configuration is developed focusing on the technical needs and costs of the markets to which each of our technologies responds (stationary applications, electric mobility and portable devices), always with a high degree of sustainability.

 

Aluminum-air

 

Metal-air battery configuration is one of the most promising battery technologies to achieve high specific energy values ​​(Wh/kg),  electric mobility  being its star application. The objective is to increase the autonomy of the batteries, reducing their weight and cost, improving the performance of electric vehicles and making them able to compete effectively with combustion engine vehicles.

 

Although its of technology readiness level is still precursor, one of its main advantages when it comes to saving weight and cost in the system is that it uses oxygen from the atmosphere as one of the active materials of the electrochemical charge and discharge reaction during its operation.

 

At Albufera’s laboratories we have reached specific energy values ​​of 2,140 Wh/kg in material test cells at the 10 mAh level with Aluminum-air technologyScaling up to values ​​around 1,000 Wh/kg in vehicle prototypes is possible by 2025, based on time frames that is in use in the automotive sector and with the projects we have underway in the aeronautical and military sectors.

 

To do this, we are working on new materials and processes related to gas reaction catalysts, allowing higher processing speeds, which have an impact on adequate operating power for its commercial use in electric vehicles, and an increase in the stability of the oxygen electrode, which allows a sufficient number of charges and discharges for its massive use in mobility.

 

Aluminum-solid state

 

The best battery structure for portable size applications will be one that uses a form of high viscosity gel or solid electrolytes. The lower ionic conductivity of this type of materials compared to traditional liquid electrolytes means that the most suitable applications do not require very fast charges and discharges (preferably above than 5 hours).

 

Its use is foreseen for portable electronic equipment due to its high specific energy predicted in the first tests carried out, and the ease of preparing different safe formats for these components.

 

Although its release to the market is estimated for the year 2030, in Albufera we have already tested some advanced ionogels that have been tested in the aerospace industry combined with aluminum molecules that can transport the ions of our batteries between the anode and the cathode at suitable speeds and obtaining powers greater than 300 W/kg.

In parallel, the insertion and transport of trivalent aluminum cations will allow us to achieve specific energy values ​​above 500 Wh/kg, to make this technology a safe asset for all types of portable electronic devices with high energy consumption or with operational needs of more than 100 hours non-stop.

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