Blackstone Heralds in New Era of Battery Cell Manufacturing with its 3D Printing Production Technology
Blackstone resources announce the completion of milestones for its proprietary 3D printing production technology including 3D printing of solid-state batteries.
The Swiss Holding company, Blackstone Resources AG is an investment company that was set up in 1995. Blackstone focuses on investing in natural resources and commodities assets. The company focuses on the development of battery technology and also develops mining projects that focus on battery metals such as manganese, molybdenum, cobalt, and more. Blackstone sets up, develops, and manages refineries that bring these metals to the global marketplace.
The company invests in ethical projects within politically secure countries. Last month, Blackstone made a game-changing announcement; the company’s German subsidiary, Blackstone Technology GmbH, successfully printed and tested its first functional solid-state battery cell. The company used its proprietary 3D printing production technology, which could usher in a new era of efficient, flexible battery cell manufacturing.
CEO of Blackstone Technology, Holger Gritzka. Image used courtesy of Blackstone Resources AG
Blackstone’s Key achievements
Blackstone has been funding research and development (R&D) for next-generation battery technology through its German subsidiary for many years and has already presented its first large battery cells at the Blackstone Battery day in February of this year. The company believes that they now are prepared for mass production. The company’s other R&D investments encompass solid-state battery technology, patented 3D printing techniques, and mass production of batteries via 3D printing processes.
A 5x5 cm-squared pouch cell with luminous light-emitting diode (LED). Image used courtesy of Blackstone Resources AG
The company’s recent milestones involve the successful completion of the research and evaluation stage of its 3D screen-printing process. This process is hoped to provide flexibility in the manufacture of different types of solid-state lithium-ion batteries (LiBs). Blackstone achieved three main proofs of concept. The first was the completion of a 3D-printed and mechanically stable solid-state electrolyte as a separator. The second was the production of a printable composite cathode. A composite of a solid-state electrolyte and lithium iron phosphate was also produced. Thirdly, the company completed the printing of a 5x5 cm-squared pouch cell as a functioning demonstrator without a mechanical spacer.
Potential Benefits for Next-Generation Battery Manufacturing
Blackstone’s 3D printing and solid-state battery technologies can provide lower production costs, increased energy density, and a greater number of charging cycles. The company aims to be able to produce one battery cell every second and bring production costs down to below USD 65 per kWh.
Manufacturers that wish to utilize the 3D printing production process could save up to 70% of the traditional Capex (capital expenditures) and 30% Opex (operating expenditures) during the production of these solid-state cells. Blackstone also believes that savings can be made concerning electrode chemistry and other used materials. Blackstone’s 3D printed solid-state batteries are produced in water solvable chemicals. These chemicals are more environmentally friendly and easier to recycle. Looking ahead, Blackstone believes that the automotive industry, marine applications, and others that require batteries can benefit from its technology.