Contracting authority:

We propose a methodology for the improvement of fabrication technology for the positive electrodes used as components in the lead-acid batteries produced at SC ROMBAT SA. The final goal of our consortium is to improve the current technology used by industrial partner for fabrication of the batteries to be used for start-and-stop automobiles (i.e. to satisfy the J240 – SAE and EN 50342-6 quality tests). Our starting point is the technology available to date at SC ROMBAT SA. The proposed approach is designed for the optimization of the scientific and technological steps involved in the fabrication of positive electrodes. It integrates the fundamental knowledge obtained from ab initio calculations, synthesis of new chemical compounds, fabrication of new alloys and structural characterization of the materials used to fabricate the electrode, at both nanoscopic and mesoscopic scale. The key element for the integration of all these activities is the fabrication and characterization of functional prototypes by the research Institutes in the consortium, followed by a scale-up of the results for industrial implementation realized in collaboration with the industrial partner.
The main problem to be solved is to reduce the corrosion of the positive electrode during the charge-discharge cycles, imposed by the requests of the start-and-stop technology. The solutions proposed by our consortium are:

(1) fabrication of new alloys to be used for the production of the metallic grid that support for the active mass of the electrode

(2) improving the fabrication technology of the metallic grid

(3) improving the electrochemical properties of the active mass by new fabrication technology and by the use of new additives to the active mass

(4) fabrication and electric/electrochemical characterization of functional prototypes, by using the new alloys and additives produced by us

(5) scale-up of the best prototype to industrial level.

We note here that for the negative electrode as well as for the electrolyte the standard products fabricated by SC ROMBAT SA will be used. The project’s goal will be achieved by using a feed-back loop: the design of materials and the fabrication steps involved by each prototype will be refined by successive fabrication of the prototypes that will gradually incorporate the information produced by each partner. At each step of our methodology the full characterization of the electrochemical and structural properties of the materials and prototypes already fabricated will be used as starting point for further refinement of the fabrication technology. Also, a continuous exchange of data between the research Institutes and the industrial partner is foreseen for the whole duration of the project. This will allow us to tune the results obtained in the laboratory with those produced in industrial conditions. At project’s term we will define the technological steps for the implementation of the results by using the infrastructure available at SC ROMBAT SA.