VUB research group leads the charge towards the next generation of batteries with BAT4EVER project 

VUB research group leads the charge towards the next generation of batteries with BAT4EVER project 

The MOBI research group at VUB is turning game changing self-healing batteries into reality, making these vital components lighter, more durable and circular by reducing their dependency on critical raw materials.  

The ground-breaking BAT4EVER project, funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 Programme, is one of several projects aiming to embed self-healing funcionalities into batteries under the Battery2030+ initiative.  

The research team has focussed on reducing the volume of graphite and replacing it with silicon, which is abundant in the earth’s crust. Thanks to a natural graphite-free content combined with reduced cobalt in the battery chemistry, silicon-based batteries offer exciting new opportunities for the sustainable charging of our devices.  

Dr. Kamil Burak DERMENCI, Technical Project Coordinator at the Battery Innovation Centre (BIC) within MOBI-VUB said: “Our research clearly shows that self-healing could be a game-changer for the battery industry. Thanks to our innovative components, we can push the ambition towards 1000 cycles - even with high silicon loadings.” 

From smartphones and smartwatches to laptops and electric vehicles, batteries are found in every device we use today. Without them, our daily lives would simply not be possible. Lithium-ion batteries are the flagship of today’s market as they offer long lifetime at a reasonable price. However, they are far from perfect. 

Self healing materials used in the new battery technology. Image courtesy of Enwair
Self healing materials used in the new battery technology. Image courtesy of Enwair

li-ion batteries have a high level of dependency on critical raw materials, including lithium, cobalt and natural graphite. Firstly, the supply chain is not secure with lithium mines in South America providing the majority of demand. Then there are ethical issues to consider as extensive child labour is used during mining.   

Li-ion batteries also pose serious safety risks during operation and transport, although the next-generation Li-ion batteries are expected to bring improvements. Despite significant advancements have been made, battery life is still not at the levels of the ambitious market demands. 

So, a secure and sustainable supply chain independent from critical raw materials and free from ethical concerns - all without compromising performance - is the industry’s goal. This is also the vision driving scientists at MOBI-VUB’s Battery Innovation Center research group, who have spent the past 3.5 years working together to tackle these crucial challenges.   

By embedding self-healing functionalities into their designs, the researchers aim to prolong the lifetime of the batteries, improve safety and accelerate the journey from lab to market. Thanks to the unique self-healable binder used in the project, high silicon loadings of more than 60% with over 1000 charging cycles are now realistic. New NMC cathodes have also reduced cobalt content and the ionic liquid use in the electrolyte substantially improves the safety of the prototype batteries, which were tested and approved based on the typical mobile phone use case.  

The initial research outputs are extremely promising and have already been published in respected journals. 





Contact person/spokesperson: Dr. K. Burak DERMENCI 


Mobile number: +32 490 39 31 42 


Koen Stein
Koen Stein Perscontact wetenschap & innovatie




About Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig – The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People, because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership, VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré, the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ‘urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.


Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussel