CHEMICALS

Process technologies for tomorrow.

PROCESSING SYSTEMS FOR BATTERY PRODUCTION

As the global battery market continues to expand, battery manufacturers are under pressure to improve battery performance, reduce their carbon footprint and save costs. Whether you are an existing or emerging battery producer, powder processing technology from the Hosokawa Group helps you to tackle these challenges and strengthen your competitive edge.

Meeting customer demands

Whether for electric vehicles or consumer electronics and portables, today's battery users want faster charging, a longer-lasting charge and a longer useful life of the battery overall. Meanwhile, the OEMs want batteries to be smaller and more compact with an increased energy density – not to mention reliable and safe.

Battery production process steps

As a leader in powder processing technology, at Hosokawa Micron – along with our sister companies that make up the worldwide Hosokawa Group – we provide high-quality equipment for use in numerous steps of the battery production process (for both mass production and R&D purposes, e.g. for solid-state batteries), including:

  • Drying
  • Ultra-fine milling
  • Classification
  • Rounding (spheroidization)
  • Mixing
  • Coating
  • Containment

Hosokawa powder processing solutions for battery production

Drying

DMR flash dryer DMR flash dryer

The active materials or precursors such as nickel, manganese and cobalt oxides need to be dried and milled for the battery cathode. This can be done using various pieces of Hosokawa powder processing equipment, including:

Ultra-fine milling

ACM air classifying mill ACM air classifying mill

For optimum battery performance – in terms of higher usable capacity, faster recharging and longer useful life – it is important for the active materials in batteries to have well-defined particle size distribution and small particles to create a larger surface area. This is achieved by ultra-fine milling of the active powders.

The following milling solutions from Hosokawa are most commonly used within the battery industry:

Both of these mills can achieve extremely fine and narrow particle size distribution. As well as handling cathode materials such as lithium cobalt oxide or manganese-based precursors, the mills can also be used for anode materials (graphite and silicon).

Spheroidizing graphite

Graphite has a naturally flaky structure and low bulk density, both of which decrease the capacity of a battery. To improve battery performance, it is therefore 'spheroidized' (i.e. rounded) to increase its bulk density and 'wettability'. Hosokawa mills can be used to spheroidize both natural and synthetic graphite. While natural graphite is cheaper to source, synthetic graphite is more spherical which saves you valuable time and costs in the milling process. Hosokawa Alpine has developed machines for rounding synthetic graphite and natural graphite: the Zirkoplex ZPS classifier mill and the Alpine Particle Rounder APR.

High-shear mixing and coating

Cyclomix high-shear batch mixer Cyclomix high-shear batch mixer

To improve the flow properties of the precursors and reduce 'sticking', 'high-shear' (i.e. high-intensity) mixing is usually the best solution for battery manufacturers. This can also ensure a strong coating of carbon black and binders around the precursor materials to further improve the conductivity. Depending on your specific needs, we provide equipment ranging from high shear to ultra-high shear, including:

All Hosokawa mills and mixers can be supplied with a wear-resistant coating as an optional extra for optimum purity of the active materials.

Safety first

Operator safety is an important consideration for the whole of the Hosokawa Group. That’s why all our equipment is certified in line with strict European standards including ATEX and CE. Furthermore, we offer equipment with a range of safety protection such as:

  • OEB 3 (e.g. downflow booth for containment of discharge)
  • OEB 4 (e.g. split butterfly valves for nitrogen flushing)
  • OEB 5 (e.g. gloveboxes, isolators)

Try before you buy

At Hosokawa, we are in a strong position to offer suitable powder processing technology to manufacturers of all types of batteries as they continue to develop their solutions, both now and in the future.

In line with our policy of 'try before you buy', you can often conduct trials using the recommended machinery with your own products at one of our Test Centres (3,000 m² at Hosokawa Alpine in Germany and 2,000 m² at Hosokawa Micron in the Netherlands).

Alternatively, we can test dummy materials or arrange for you to use our equipment on loan so that you can perform tests yourself. Contact us for more details!

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?

To learn more about our solids processing equipment and systems for the production of batteries, contact us:

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