Aluminum foil for lithium-ion batteries to be manufactured in Brazil
A partnership between Senai Paraná and Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA) is set to bring changes to the lithium-ion battery segment in Brazil. One of the components of these batteries, used in consumer electronic devices like smartphones and notebooks, and in particular in electric vehicles, is aluminum foil—previously produced only for packaging and other applications. The partnership is set to change that, placing the country in a global market and enabling the development of the product in Brazil. Aluminum foil is an essential component in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, explains Marcos Berton, head researcher at the Senai Electrochemical Innovation Institute. “It is used as the positive electrode current collector in the batteries, and has a big impact on their long-term capacity and stability. With this partnership, we will have a command of the technology through an innovative project. For the batteries to work properly, a great deal of care needs to be taken in their manufacture, using high-quality materials, in this case aluminum,” he says. The technological solution of using Brazilian aluminum foil as the current collector is the innovation and the key object of study in the project, which is already underway. This is an important step towards developing the local supply chain in the lithium-ion battery segment. From Brazil to the world The battery market has seen exponential growth. Electric vehicles, for example, account for nearly the entire global demand for lithium batteries, according to a recent survey by Wood Mackenzie. Environmental and climate concerns are the main drivers of that growth. “Integrating Brazil in the international trade in inputs makes the project even more relevant. The lithium-ion battery market is a global market and, aside from selling aluminum as a raw material, the CBA will be able to sell a solution that meets the value proposition and specific technical requirements of that market. It will therefore be possible to diversify the company’s range of products geared to the segment,” explains Fernando Wongtschowski, the CBA’s strategic marketing and innovation manager. The initiative also considers the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as promoting sustainable industrialization through innovation and economic growth. It falls in the category of “Industrial Alliance”, in Senai’s nationwide Innovation for Industry Platform. In that category, the costs of the innovation project are split between the companies and the Innovation Platform program. The project contribution is over R$ 1.2 million (USD 235,000).