Dürr is supplying battery machinery for CATL

The machinery and plant manufacturer Dürr has received an order from CATL for the battery factory currently being built in Arnstadt, Germany. The company will supply an “innovative technology for the sustainable production of lithium-ion batteries” to the factory.

The order includes several plants with an environmentally friendly process for the recovery of solvents in production, according to the German plant manufacturer. According to Dürr, this can avoid several tens of thousands of tonnes of CO2 per year and the solvent can be used several times.

Dürr’s ‘Sorpt.X LC technology’, together with distillation, is said to make it possible for more than 95 % of the recovered solvent to be reused in the required quality. CATL will install several coating lines at the Arnstadt factory, each of which will have its own Dürr solvent recovery system.

The coating lines will produce the cathodes and anodes for subsequent battery production. For this purpose, the materials are mixed in powder form in the desired composition – for the NCM cathode of a lithium-ion battery, for example, lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese. To apply this mixture thinly to the aluminium or copper carrier foil, the active materials are mixed with the solvent N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and other additives to form a paste, known in the industry as a slurry. This slurry is then applied to the carrier film and immediately dried in large ovens – the solvent, which is only needed for this production step, evaporates and is filtered out of the exhaust air by the Dürr systems. NMP is declared as a hazardous substance and must therefore be used with great care, says Dürr.

Dürr is only now making the CATL deal public by way of an announcement – but as the statement says, the order was received “earlier in the year”. In the course of the strong expansion of battery production capacities (especially for electric cars) Dürr hopes for further orders for its battery production business field. New customer CATL is also building another cell factory in Europe in Debrecen, Hungary.

“With CATL we have gained another customer in the up-and-coming market of battery production technology. Our technology will make a major contribution in helping CATL produce its electrodes in a way that is both sustainable and economical,” says Jochen Weyrauch, CEO of Dürr AG. “More battery cells are required for electromobility to prevail. This is leading to the construction of new battery factories, especially in Europe. The production processes these use ultimately play a critical role in determining the size of an electric vehicle’s environmental footprint.”



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