In occasion of the first newsletter of 2023, we talked with Jonathan Schubert from the electrode development team of VARTA Microbattery.
Could you give a short explanation of your organisation and its role in the CoFBAT project?
VARTA Microbattery is a German battery manufacturer. It has a high depth of production and a wide product range in high quality from household batteries up to medical applications. Thus, the evaluation of the in CoFBAT developed battery regarding market possibilities as well as the construction of a demonstrator and ramp-up plans as crucial parts of the project success lay at VARTA.
Tell us a bit more about yourself and your role in VARTA Microbattery.
I joined VARTA Microbattery in the beginning of October 2022 as part of the electrode development team. The tasks as for battery developers is very diverse. Beginning with an idea of new recipes or materials in cooperation with suppliers, followed by first trials in small cells and ending with the ramp-up in production size if the developed type is promising. Before I joined VARTA, I worked for three years at a battery manufacturer start up, with a similar job description. To be prepared for these challenging jobs, I already chose my bachelor’s degree program with focus on energy topics and chemical engineering. My following master program was in cooperation with a research institute dealing with batteries. I worked in the lithium-ion research group with focus on cell characterization and electrode processing.
What is your role in the CoFBAT project?
In the CoFBAT, my role is to coordinate the demonstrator construction of the pre-developed battery type in a market suitable cell format. Beside the coordination, it is also my task to face the practical challenges of ramp-up processes as well as the processing in a production line.
What is going to happen in the following months in your work?
I started at VARTA just in time to take over the project tasks after the pre-development was nearly finished. Thus, the following months will focus on collecting the information of the pre-development to be prepared for the demonstrator construction. When the first materials arrive, I will start to prepare the electrodes for the demonstrator design. If the results are satisfying, these electrodes are further proceeded to the demonstrator. Afterwards, first tests will be started and compared with the lab results to evaluate the new developed battery.