Manufacturing Porous Electrodes

Laboratory: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Capability Expert: David Wood
Capability Details:
Title: DOE Manufacturing R&D Facility at ORNL (BMF) for roll-to-roll manufacturing of porous electrodes and coatings
Class: Processing/manufacturing capability

The BMF has capabilities in materials characterization (particle size, zeta potential, surface energy, rheological property, morphology), materials processing (electrode formulation, slurry preparation), electrode coating (tape casting, slot die coating, UV curing, electron beam curing), electrode calendering, cell assembly, and cell testing. The capability allows for the development of novel material processing methods from very small, laboratory-scale quantities up to pilot scale quantities.

The BMF is the nation’s largest open access battery fabrication R&D facility, which can also be used for fuel cell fabrication, and has a unique capacity for roll-to-roll manufacturing. The facility has been used to develop novel processing methods for manufacturing, including water-based formulation chemistries, UV and electron-beam curing processes, and in-line non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of coatings. It is open to industry with the capability to scale from small development quantities to hundreds of feet. Material processing techniques and electrode coatings developed at the BMF are applicable to other technologies such as fuel cells. The BMF maintains expert research staff with experience in material processing and manufacturing to complement the state-of-the-art facility and equipment.

Capability Bounds: Maximum electrode coating widths (machine direction) of 10″
Unique Aspects: Unique aspects include the ability to do double-sided, patch slot-die coating with machine and transverse automatic alignment, as well as a heated rolling mill for bonding GDEs to ion-exchange membranes or GDLs to CCMs.
Availability: 20% availability for use by ElectroCat.

D. Mohanty, J. Li, C. Daniel, and D.L. Wood III, J. Power Sources 312, 70 (2016).

J. Li, B.L. Armstrong, J. Kiggans, C. Daniel, and D.L. Wood, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 405 118 (2013).

J. Li, B.L. Armstrong, J. Kiggans, C. Daniel, and D.L. Wood, Langmuir 28 3783 (2012).

Benefit: This resource could be used to make MEAs for the Consortium, leveraging colloid preparation and formulation expertise, pilot-scale coating equipment, and graded/3-D electrode architectures to manufacture the thick electrocatalyst layers required for PGM-free catalysts and electrodes.

ORNL’s facilities for tape casting and slot-die coating