“Green battery” receives 8.7 million euros in funding

The “green battery” project is being funded by the federal government, the Free State of Bavaria and the European Union to the tune of 8.7 million euros. A symbolic funding certificate was presented to Dr. Holger Wampers, Managing Partner of Alumina Systems GmbH, by Hubert Aiwanger, Deputy Minister President and Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, and Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs. This makes Alumina Systems one of only eleven German companies to receive funding as part of the 2nd European large-scale project for battery cell production.

During a small ceremony, which was limited to only 25 people due to the Corona rules, Managing Director Dr. Holger Wampers thanked the Federal Ministry of Economics for the good cooperation and Emmi Zeulner, Member of the Bundestag from Lichtenfels, for her support. Wampers gave a brief overview of the development of the company, which used to be part of Siemens AG and is now privately owned. “Ten years ago we had ten customers and 50 items, today we have 250 customers and 1,000 items. This means that we have several legs to stand on due to our innovative strength,” emphasized Wampers. Accordingly, the company has received an innovation award in each of the past four years.

Three years ago, Alumina Systems began developing a “green battery” that does not require lithium or cobalt. The so-called saline battery requires only sodium chloride (common salt) and nickel. Both raw materials can be mined in an environmentally friendly way and the battery can be 100% recycled. In addition, the battery can neither burn nor explode and is therefore ideal for stationary energy storage. To charge an electric vehicle, you only need three modules the size of a beer crate.

the size of a beer crate. However, the “green battery” is also ideally suited to industrial applications, such as the electrification of streetcars, peak load balancing in the wind power industry, uninterruptible power supply in telecommunications or for storing green hydrogen.

According to Wampers, the funding will enable Alumina Systems GmbH to set up battery cell production of up to around 25 megawatt hours in the existing premises. This corresponds to the production of around 100,000 tubes per year. In a second step, production capacities could grow to one gigawatt hour of cells and systems. This would correspond to around four million tubes per year. To achieve this, Alumina Systems would need additional production capacity, either within the Redwitz industrial park or outside. “Alumina Systems will create more jobs over the next few years to accommodate this growth,” said Wampers.

Parliamentary State Secretary Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker said on the subject of batteries: “In order to produce competitive, high-performance and particularly environmentally friendly batteries in the future, we need innovations.” The Alumina Systems battery project is of great importance for the energy transition. Decentralized storage options are particularly important in volatile energy markets. This will ensure that the battery ecosystem being created in Germany and Europe will also keep us at the forefront of global technology.

Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Deputy Minister-President Hubert Aiwanger said at the presentation of the symbolic funding decision that it would be a major breakthrough if it were possible to store larger amounts of energy with the new type of battery. A sustainable battery project such as that of Alumina Systems would also make an important contribution to securing and creating new jobs in Bavaria. Addressing the management of Alumina Systems, Aiwanger said: “I hope that you will sell many of your ‘green batteries’ worldwide.” The Free State is contributing 30 percent of the funding. “But here we are only giving back what was previously generated by the taxpayers.”