Last December, 12 partners met in Alzenau, Germany for the kick-off meeting of the BALIHT project. The team got to know each other, discussed the work ahead and visited the CMBlu facility where the organic electrolyte and the batteries hardware is being developed.
BALIHT H2020 European Project, coordinated by AIMPLAS and funded by the European Commission under the call “Building a Low-Carbon, Climate Resilient Future: Next-Generation Batteries” (H2020-LC-BAT-2019-2020) organised its first 2 days meeting in December in Alzenau, Germany.
The meeting gathered the multidisciplinary BALIHT team made of researchers, experts, industry leaders and SMEs from different European countries. The goal is to develop a new organic redox flow battery (RFB) suitable to work at temperatures up to 80ºC.
With electrification being one of the main pathways to decarbonisation, batteries have a key role to play.
Unlike other redox flow batteries, BALIHT will work using electrolytes that can be made out of preliminary products which can be obtained out of lignin. Lignin is a natural and renewable raw material and is available in sufficient amounts from existing pulp production. In addition, the tanks of the RFB will be double wall flexible containers with unlimited and modular size which will permit upscaling of the batteries’ capacity.
The partners discussed the main innovative goal for BALIHT which is to design RFBs able to work at high temperatures. Usually, RFBs are designed to work in temperature of up to 40ºC, however, using the battery generates heat. Under certain circumstances a cooling system is required to avoid electrolyte degradation or battery malfunction. Cooling requires energy and reduces the battery global efficiency. That is why the BALIHT battery will be developed to work up to temperatures of 80ºC. And without the need for a cooling system, this innovation allows the battery to be 20% more energy efficient than existing organic RFB.
The fruitful two-day meeting brought great insights but also first deadlines in terms of deliverables.