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Battery production: ProMinent bears up where others fold

The reaction environment is hot, aggressive and highly alkaline. Unshaken, the robust technology keeps all parameters in the target range. This is where the anode material is produced for the battery which will later provide your phone with a clean and reliable power supply.

Battery production in an aggressive environment

Lithium-ion batteries deliver the energy for today’s smartphones, notebooks and electric cars. Research establishments and industry are continually working on further enhancing the energy density of batteries and their production. As is our customer, a Korean manufacturer of anode material, who was planning to build a new reactor system and needed high-performance components for it. The specific challenge here is that the chemical reaction takes several days, runs at temperatures in excess of 50°C and has a high alkaline pH. It also involves aggressive metal solutions, ammonia water and sodium hydroxide solution. The pH has to be measured continuously and stabilised through the controlled addition of sodium hydroxide solution. The environment and task therefore place huge demands on the sensors and metering pumps.

Key data

  • Korean manufacturer of anode material (precursor) for battery cells
  • Aggressive reaction environment: Metal solutions, NH4OH and NaOH, long reaction, temperature in excess of 50 °C, high alkaline pH
  • 2016/17 pilot project with solenoid-driven metering pumps gamma/ X with Teflon dosing head, PVDF diaphragm and peristaltic pumps DULCO®flex DF4a, controllers DULCOMETER® diaLog DACb, pH sensors PHEPH 314SE for a pH range of 1–12, pH sensors PHEX 112SE for suspensions, sludge and emulsions
  • Main project 2018: Motor-driven metering pumps Sigma/ 3 with stainless steel dosing head, controllers DULCOMETER® dialog DACa and D1Cb, pH sensors PHEPH 314SE for a pH range of 1–12, pH sensors PHEX 112SE for suspensions, sludge and emulsions
  • Reliable production processes thanks to robust devices with precise metering and measurement results

From a small pilot project to a huge reactor

The customer was looking for technology, which would continuously supply reliable measurements for pH control and would meter all chemicals in a reproducible and highly accurate manner despite the aggressive environment. ProMinent was the only provider able to meet all the requirements, in particular the large measuring range and the temperature and pressure resistance of the sensors. The customer started with a small-scale pilot project in order to test the reproducibility and sensor service lives in a real-life situation. Here, the customer opted to use the solenoid-driven metering pump gamma/ X. In the low target capacity range, this handled the functions of the motor-driven metering pump Sigma used later in the “major” project. The keywords here were controllability and metering profiles. During the pilot phase, a ProMinent contact was on hand at all times to work with the customer to find the optimum solution should any questions arise.

Good products + expert support = smooth processes

The pilot project was a resounding success and has since gone into operation in production. It is well worth pointing out that the sensors are lasting several reaction cycles in the aggressive environment. The customer was also impressed by

  • reliable production processes thanks to robust devices with very fast response times and continuous metering
  • convenient pH checks using sensors meaning that no programmable logic controller (PLC) is needed
  • know-how and all devices from one source: a perfect combination, convenient maintenance management
  • expert advice and support from the manufacturer

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