Battery Materials
Everything for the production of cathode active material Costefficient, highest throughput and outstanding quality

Full Range of Systems for Cathode Active Material (CAM)
in the LiB-Industry

ONEJOON is offering the full range of thermal systems, powder handling systems and process equipment for Cathode Active Material production

  • Roller Hearth Kilns
  • Pusher Kilns
  • Rotary Kilns for pCAM and Annealing
  • Return Conveyor System and Automation
  • Saggar Handling Systems
  • Process Equipment
  • R&D / CFD-Simulation / Test-Center

Development –

From the first tests to the production kiln

Since 2008, we have been continuously working on the further development and improvement of the furnaces and the production process for the manufacture of cathode active material.

Pk Timeline Onejoon 02
Process

The calcination process

Cathode Active Material (CAM)

The positive electrode in the battery is often referred to as the “cathode”. In the conventional lithium ion batteries, lithium cobalt oxide is used as the cathode. In the last few years, however, many alternative material systems have been developed and used.

In most cases, however, lithium and oxygen are still an essential part of the system. Only the metallic element cobalt is often completely or only partially replaced by other metallic elements such as nickel and manganese. For this reason, most lithium ion batteries can be described as a socalled lithium metal oxide cathode.

Lithium metal oxides are produced as solid powders. The microstructure, morphology, particle size and degree and type of possible contamination in the powder play a decisive role in the selection of the powder as a suitable material for use as a cathode in a lithium ion battery (LiB). These influence the electrochemical characteristics of the battery, which is subsequently produced from it. Especially the energy density, which is of great importance e.g. for the distance electric vehicles can drive, is influenced by the above mentioned microstructural parameters.

The microstructure of the cathode must therefore be precisely adjusted. On the one hand this can be achieved by the right choice of raw materials and on the other hand by a controlled production process of cathode powders. As the term implies, a lithium metal oxide is a mixed crystal of lithium oxide and oxides of other metals. These mixed crystals are formed by thermal treatment of a mixture of the individual oxides at high temperatures; typically between 800-1000 °C under certain atmospheric conditions. The individual oxides, in turn, are provided by the addition of various raw materials to the mixture. The starting raw materials are often hydroxides or carbonates of lithium and the other respective metallic elements.

By heat treatment of these starting materials water (H2O) or carbon dioxide (CO2) is released at temperatures of 600-800 °C; the remaining oxides participate later by further treatments in a mixed crystal.

Basically, in the manufacturing process of the cathode, various oxides are extracted from the respective hydroxides or carbonates of the same elements in the first step and then, in a second step, the desired mixed crystal is produced from these oxides.

The first step, in which two solids react together to form a third solid and gases are released, is called calcination. The second step is called sintering or solid diffusion. Calcination occurs almost independently of time as soon as the temperatures and starting materials required for the beginning of the reaction are available. Consequently, the first steps of thermal treatment in the production of the cathode take place relatively quickly. On the other hand, the diffusion processes to form the mixed crystals are very time-dependent and last much longer. For some manufacturers, the two steps are carried out one after the other in one process; for others, however, the calcination products are first cooled and later sintered in a separate thermal process.

Plant engineering

Furnace systems, powder handling systems and process equipment for Cathode Active Material production

Roller Hearth Kiln

for Cathode Active Material (LiB)

A key product is the electrical heated gas-tight Roller Hearth Kiln with pneumatic air-lock systems and an indirect cooling zone to be able to run under oxygen atmosphere for production of Cathode Active Material (CAM) with higher Nickel content like NCM622, NCM811 and NCA which will be used in EV Lithium-Ion Batteries.

We have a huge number of references in Korea and China for this kind of products and processes using both, hydroxide- or carbonate-based lithium source.

Referenzofen Cathodenaktivpulver Kalzinieren 640x360 ONEJOON Roller Hearth Kiln for Cathode Active Material (CAM)

Pusher Kilns for CAM (LiB) -

costefficient, highest throughput and outstanding quality

The lithium ion battery is the key success factor of electromobility. Engineers are aware of the importance of the cathode active material because its energy density determines the distance a vehicle can drive. The calcination process is essential for the quality and price of the cathode powder.

The Intelligent Improvement of Cathode Powder Production is the declared goal of the furnace-, material- and process engineers at the Korean and German Company ONEJOON. The next generation of furnaces developed by ONEJOON, the PK CAM 4x7 – a pusher kiln – will enable a considerable improvement in process control and therefore in energy density. A significantly increased product capacity combined with a shorter furnace time will significantly reduce the costs of cathode material production. As a turnkey system supplier for almost the entire powder production process, it goes without saying that ONEJOON should take a holistic view of the entire value chain. With the PK CAM, ONEJOON is taking a big step forward in increasing the efficiency of battery production and is thus clearly committed to decarbonising the mobility of the future. ONEJOON is one of the world‘s leading partners in furnace construction. As a Korean-German company, quality and innovation are our commitment to our customers.

ONEJOON Pusher Kiln for CAM (LiB)

The worldwide strong growth in mobility with electric vehicles demands enormous capacities of lithiumion batteries. At the same time, car manufacturers and suppliers are forced to further extreme cost reductions. With the next generation of battery pusher kilns, ONEJOON opens the door to the future of cathode production: with significantly increased throughput, considerably reduced manufacturing costs and a minimum use of special gases.

The ONEJOON experts rely on a well-proven, reliable technology: the battery pusher kiln, which has clear advantages compared to the roller kilns commonly used today.

„The production capacity of common roller kilns used for cathode production is limited to around 1.5 kT per year; any expansion of the kiln systems and thus their production capacity is not possible without taking the risk of quality losses,“ explains Dr. Arian Esfehanian, Expert for CAM kiln systems at ONEJOON. „In contrast, the ONEJOON battery pusher kiln enables three to four times the production capacity with an identical use of space."
Dr. Arian Esfehanian, Expert for CAM kiln systems at ONEJOON

Battery Pusher Kiln for highest efficiency in battery cathode production

In addition to costs and production capacity in the smallest possible space, product quality is also one of the success factors for cathode powder manufacturers.

After all, at the same price, battery manufacturers naturally prefer materials with a higher energy density, for example. This can be achieved by the best possible use of thermodynamic influences on the calcination and sintering processes.

In the Onejoon Battery Pusher Kiln, the processes can be significantly optimized at the necessary temperatures of up to 800 °C through optimal, permanent heat supply, reliable removal of exhaust gases in the calcination process and remarkable temperature homogeneity in the sintering process.

In all these aspects, the Battery Pusher Kiln provides clear conceptual advantages. While in the roller kiln heat can only be supplied from above and below, in the Onejoon solution heat is also supplied vertically from the sides.

In combination with the pusher conveyor technology, considerably higher and heavier superstructures and product carriers (saggars) can be passed through the kiln and much more cathode material can be produced. The product is heated homogeneously in each saggar with only minimal temperature deviations (+/- 2 °C), the calcination reactions start without time delay. The plant operator benefits from extremely homogeneous heat treatment with very high throughput and best product quality.

Further benefits include savings in process gases, energy and floor space. In conventional heat treatment plants, large quantities of special gases such as oxygen are consumed, although from a chemical point of view only a small part of them is really needed. Due to innovation and effective use of the gases, gas savings of up to 27 percent and energy savings of up to 25 percent are possible with the Onejoon Battery Pusher Kiln. The vertical design with higher superstructures allows the optimum use of every square meter of floor space.

ONEJOON Pusher Kiln for CAM (LiB)

Rotary Kilns

for pCAM and Annealing (LiB)

Our team of engineers in Germany has a profound expertise in the design, manufacturing and operation of Rotary Drum Kilns. With a proven track record in middle and large scale rotary furnaces, we are happy to discuss any applications of the rotary furnace in the battery material manufacturing, from low temperature drying or calcination up to high temperature graphitization. As we have the possibility to run tests with a test Rotary Drum Kiln in our Test-Center in Bovenden, Germany, we want to motivate and invite you to contact us to start the discussion about using this kind of application for your process.

Rotary Kiln ONEJOON 890x480 ONEJOON Rotary Kiln for pCAM and Annealing (LiB)

Return Conveyor System and Automation

for CAM (LiB)

The calcination process of Cathode Active Material (CAM) is carried out in powdery form. The material mixture of NCM or NCA pre-curser and lithium powder source (hydroxide or carbonate) will be normally filled into a prismatic ceramic saggar which finally is the transportation vehicle of the powder through the kiln. In the Roller Hearth Kiln the transport is been done by driven ceramic rollers, in the Pusher Kiln by a pusher machine, pushing the pusher plates with saggar stacks on a cerasmic track through the kiln.

After the saggars are leaving the kiln, they will be emptied by dumping off the material and guided back to the filling station to be used for the next filling and firing cycle. is done by the automatic Return Conveyor System.

Normally there is one Return Conveyor System for each kiln. But it is also possible to use one extended Return Conveyor System for two or more kilns. Even combined Return Conveyor Systems for different kiln systems or a Conveyor and Saggar Handling System with centralised filling system and dumping system for all kilns of the production area is possible.

The transportation of the saggars is done by driven stainless steel shafts with ceramic rings. The Return Conveyor System is encased by a housing to be able to protect the fresh calcinated products by a special carbon-free and/or dehumidified air, oxygen/air mixture or pure oxygen atmosphere. The housing is also used as protection to avoid bigger amounts of CAM powder getting into the production hall. The area of Return Conveyor directly behind the kiln outlet is also used as an extension of the cooling zone.

Saggar Handling Systems (SHS)

for CAM (LiB)

The Saggar Handling System (SHS) or Powder Handling System is integrated in the Return Conveyor System. It is generally consisting of following systems and units:

  • filling with weighing and powder levelling
  • stacking and unstacking of saggars
  • lifting, dumping and powder crashing
  • saggar inspection, cleaning, discharge

The configuration and design of the Saggar Handling System and the position of the systems and units within the Return Conveyor System is individual and customised, which will be defined together with the customer in the engineering phase.

Different product carriers / saggers / trays

Process Engineering & Equipment for CAM

It is our big strength that we are able to engineer, design and manufacture the whole CAM powder process line starting from mixing the raw materials to packing into big bags next to our core business of manufacturing Kilns with Return Conveyor Systems and Saggar Handling respectively Powder Handling Systems. 
This capability is unique for a battery kiln manufacturer and assures the optimal integration of the kiln system into the whole powder process line. 

More than 50 % of our employees are highly educated and experienced engineers and experts. Most of them are working for our company for more than 10 years.

We have various references for engineering, manufacturing and installation of whole NCM622 and NCM811 one- and two-firing CAM powder production lines in Korea and China and a reference for basic engineering & conceptional design of a full NCM622 line in Europe.

 

Example for equipment, machinery and systems for an NCM622 two-firing powder process line

R&D / CFD-Simulation / Test-Center

Over decades we are well known for our strength to develop new processes and kiln systems to fulfil new product requirements for our customers. This strength is mainly based on knowledge and experience of our process & kiln system experts, the R&D department and Test-Center personnel in Germany. These activities are supported by our product management team doing CFD-simulations and execution of testing programs. 

In our Test-Center we have different batch or continuous kilns which can be modified in design and functionality to meet the needed process conditions and requirements.

Services

Our services

Consulting, service, furnace construction and much more.
Just because every customer has special requirements.

Together with you, we will work out the optimal solution for your request.

  • CFD-Simulations and trials in our test center
  • engineering
  • definition of the scope of delivery
  • design of the system based on your specifications
  • configuration of the system from standardised components, customer-specific adaptations
  • presentation of the plant concept
  • preparation of the offer
  • design, production and testing of the system in our factory
  • shipping, assembly, commissioning and acceptance of the plant at your location around the globe
  • preparation of the plant documentation and the CE declaration of conformity
  • production support
  • services: plant maintenance, spare parts, repairs, measurements
  • network to adjacent processes

We are looking forward to your request, contact us today!

References

Our references

Satisfied customers through successful and long-term partnerships

Our reference list shows the reliability and production safety of the systems for cathode active material production from ONEJOON.

Some References for XXX
Reference 1XXX
Reference 2XXX
Reference 3XXX
Reference 4XXX
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Learn more?

We look forward to your call!

You would like to learn more about us, our products and your possibilities? We would be pleased to show you in a personal appointment what we can do for you.

Markus Lehmann Senior Key Account Manager Battery Materials +49 151 26 19 53 42 markus.lehmann@onejoon.de Connect with me on LinkedIn
ONEJOON Service Technischer Support Grafik 840x560

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Test Center

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CFD-Simulation

Sophisticated furnace solutions with the aid of CFD simulations read more
Heat treatment plants More than 120 years experience in industrial furnace construction
Markus Lehmann Senior Key Account Manager Battery Materials +49 151 26 19 53 42 markus.lehmann@onejoon.de
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