High Temperature Ceramic Batteries (ZEBRA)

ZEBRA batteries (Zero Emission Battery Research Activities), due to their high energy and power density, are one of the best solutions to the actual energy storage demand for stationary application and to the sustainable mobility with electric and hybrid cars.
These systems are based on nickel-sodium chloride cells operating at high temperatures (about 270°C-350 °C), enclosed in a thermal container and uses a ceramic tube or planar membrane of Na-β"-alumina as solid electrolyte.
The ceramic process needed to produce the electrolytic compartment has a key role to enhance and adapt the batteries performances to the specific requirements for stationary regime applications. Each minimal composition or process deviation in fact strongly influences the final properties of the device.
For this purpose ISTEC mainly deals with the ad-hoc study of the production process, from the powders synthesis to the shaping and sintering needed to obtain β"-alumina membranes either in tubolar and planar configuration with suitable morphological-structural characteristics. The research is deeply focused on the production of high efficient planar membranes with thicknesses < 2 mm exploiting the die pressing or the tape casting processes.
ISTEC is also focused on careful analysis of the materials sintering behavior, on the study of reactive sintering processes and how the thermal treatments could influence the chemical-structural properties of the material.