Transitioning from resource-intensive to resource-efficient batteries with innovative  solutions

Batteries are indispensable in our daily lives, powering everything from electric vehicles to renewable energy storage. However, their production can be resource-intensive and come with environmental costs. HiQ-CARB, a project supported by EIT RawMaterials, has developed innovative solutions to produce greener and more resource-efficient nanomaterials, significantly improving the performance of lithium-ion batteries while minimising their environmental impact.

Cutting carbon emissions by up to 90%

HiQ-CARB’s eco-friendly carbon additives utilise ultrapure acetylene black (AB) and bio-based ultrathin carbon nanotubes (CNT). Compared to their competitors, HiQ-CARB’s ultrapure acetylene black remarkably cuts carbon emissions by up to 90%, increases conductivity by at least 33%, and reduces capacity loss by over 50%.

“This means that our electric vehicles will charge faster, our mobile phone batteries will last longer, and overall, our electronic devices will have better safety and a longer service life,” says Andreas Bittner, HiQ-CARB’s team leader.

Winner of the prestigious EIT Public Award

This transformative innovation has earned HiQ-CARB the Public Award at this year’s EIT Awards in Brussels. The prestigious competition recognises Europe’s most promising entrepreneurs and innovators, addressing the European industry’s most pressing challenges.

“Resource efficiency is one of our top priorities at EIT RawMaterials. We’re proud to have supported HiQ-CARB, whose sustainable, resource-efficient batteries will have a significant impact on the fast-growing battery industry, which is vital for the Green Transition. Seeing it recognised by the EIT Awards, alongside two other start-ups from our portfolio, is a tremendous honour for us.” Bernd Schäfer, CEO and Managing Director of EIT RawMaterials.

Access to the EIT RawMaterials network opened the gates to funding

EIT RawMaterials’ robust network has helped HiQ-CARB form its consortium with partners from top institutions and companies across research, education and industry.

The project taps into expertise in application-oriented battery R&D and life cycle assessment from Fraunhofer ISC, Aalto University and the University of Bordeaux. Arkema and Orion Engineered Carbons, two leading material manufacturers, have joined as commercial partners to introduce HiQ-CARB’s groundbreaking innovation to the market.

“We benefited from the advice of EIT RawMaterials, and their funding strongly contributed to making all this upscaling work possible,” Bittner says. “If you’re a sustainable innovator who has done the basic research and wants to bring your development to the industry quickly, I highly recommend joining EIT RawMaterials and starting to upscale your projects,” Bittner says.

Want to know more about funding opportunities for start-ups? Visit our Booster programme.