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IDTechEx reports solid-state battery future

Forecasts SS battery market supply chain to reach $8B by 2031 Metal Tech News - September 8, 2021

 

Last updated 9/7/2021 at 1:14pm

solid-state battery Samsung IDTechEx report lithium-ion forecast EV 2031

Samsung SDI Co.

Structure of lithium-ion battery on the left, and solid-state battery on the right.

Research and technology firm IDTechEx has recently released a detailed report projecting the future of solid-state batteries and its potential to reach a market size of over $8 billion by 2031.

Commercialized in 1991, the lithium-ion battery quickly became the mainstay for portable energy needs, and as electronics have continued to shrink, the need for mobility has only managed to grow.

However, their worldwide success and diffusion in consumer electronics and now electric vehicles cannot hide their limitations in terms of safety, performance, and form factor due to the underlying technology.

The most widely used commercial lithium-ion technologies employ liquid electrolyte, with lithium salts in an organic solvent. However, as the battery functions, it breaks down, ultimately reducing its effectiveness and charge capacity over time. Furthermore, the liquid electrolyte needs expensive components to separate the cathode and anode (positive and negative) to avoid leakage.

Therefore, the size and design freedom for these batteries are constrained. Moreover, liquid electrolytes have safety and health concerns, as they are flammable and corrosive.

Solid-state electrolytes have the potential to address all these aspects, particularly in the EV, wearable, and drone markets.

In a solid-state battery, both the electrode and the electrolyte are solid. This provides the possibility for downscaling due to the elimination of certain aspects, e.g., a separator and the casing. Thus, they can potentially be made thinner, more flexible and contain more energy per unit weight than conventional lithium-ion batteries.

Additionally, the removal of liquid electrolytes can be an avenue for safer, longer-lasting batteries as they are more resistant to changes in temperature and physical damages that may occur during usage.

The easiest representation of this comparison is the difference between hard disk drives for computer data storage and the more recent solid-state hard drives.

Due to the limitations of the physical structure, HDDs were often bulky and loud. Gigabyte hard drives were often the size of a 1,000-page novel and, needless to say, deadly to toes if ever dropped.

Thumb drives, flash drives, zip drives, and the dozen other names they came to be known as, opened the floodgates for eventual SSDs, and while any storage device that does not involve moving parts can be considered solid-state, the issue was scaling it upward from the 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 GB sticks that were often passed around like pens.

For solid-state batteries, it is a similar premise.

Scientists have been fervently searching for the exact chemistry and material composition to produce the next generation portable energy supply, as replacing the materials or their physical state has been an ongoing challenge since its first application in the 70s for pacemakers.

Nevertheless, with the rapid growth of the EV market and regulation requirements for longer range, battery technologies with better performance – including better safety and higher energy density – have drawn battery vendors, automotive OEMs, material suppliers and investors scrambling to get an edge up on this explosive market.

The report, titled "Solid-State and Polymer Batteries 2021-2031: Technology, Forecasts, Players," covers the solid-state electrolyte industry by giving a 10-year forecast to 2031 in terms of capacity production and market size.

The full IDTechEx report on solid-state batteries can be purchased at: https://www.idtechex.com/en/research-report/solid-state-and-polymer-batteries-2021-2031-technology-forecasts-players/819.

 

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