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Korean plans to commercialise eco-friendly seawater batteries

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 14:13 -- Paul Crompton
Korean plans to commercialise eco-friendly seawater batteries

A new eco-friendly battery using salt water is being jointly developed and commercialised by three Korean research organisations.

The new battery collects sodium ions from seawater during charging and stores them in the cathode. Then during discharge the anode releases sodium, which reacts with water and oxygen to form sodium hydroxide.

This produces electricity without auxiliary loads or an external power supply, meaning it could be applied on both residential and industrial scales.

The project’s consortium consists of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), Korea East-West Power Company Ltd. (EWP), and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST).

UNIST has signed a memorandum-of-understanding with KEPCO and EWP to set up the joint research on commercialisation of the seawater battery in last week.

The consortium will establish a testing facility to produce the batteries, and plan to build a 10Wh seawater battery pack at Ulsan Thermal Power Plant, South Korea by 2018.

Compared to the lithium-ion batteries, the consortium believes the seawater battery will be more ‘cost-effective’, and safer than lithium-ion, but with relatively low electric power, according to UNIST’s report.

To enhance the battery charge rate by 20Wh, the study will design different sizes of cells and shapes and standardise procedures of battery.

The Korean government has granted ₩7 billion ($6.1 million) to UNIST since the research started in 2014. ₩3 billion ($2.6 million) and ₩2 billion ($1.8 million) will be respectively granted to the project by KEPCO and EWP by 2019 and 2018.

Professor Youngsik Kim of Energy and Chemical Engineering at UNIST is optimistic of his batteries ability to take on lithium-ion and lead-acid.

He said: “Once this battery is commercialised, we can lead the ₩47 trillion ($41 billion) worth, advanced energy storage devices market.”

Professor Kim’s venture, ‘4 to One’ has been producing and selling coin-shaped seawater batteries and test kits.

Professor Kim has also transferred the solid ceramic electrolyte synthesis technique, one of the core materials of the seawater batteries, to a local SME, Ce&Chem Co. Ltd. in 2015.

That company now produces more than 100,000 solid ceramic electrolytes a year.

Energy storage firm Eguana and LG Chem expand partnership

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 11:34 -- Paul Crompton
Energy storage firm Eguana and LG Chem expand partnership

Canadian firm Eguana Technologies has augmented its energy storage partnership with Korean lithium-ion battery giant LG Chem.

Eguana has begun integrating LG Chem’s JH3 cell technology into its AC Battery energy storage system (ESS) portfolio.

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Korean battery firms face loss of the Chinese EV market

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 13:05 -- Paul Crompton
Korean battery firms face loss of the Chinese EV market

Two Korean battery makers face further losses after cars using their lithium technology had their certification cancelled in China.

It comes after Samsung SDI and LG Chem both failed to meet the government’s standards for electric car batteries last year.

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Chinese and Korean firms eye up $2B lithium battery plant for Chile

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 12:18 -- Paul Crompton
Chinese and Korean firms eye up $2B lithium battery plant for Chile

A consortium of Chinese and Korean battery makers and investment entrepreneurs are in talks to build a lithium-ion manufacturing plant in Chile, according to Chilean newspaper Pulso.

Early talks put the total investment at around $2billion with phases 1, 2 and 3 of production earmarked for January 2018 with an initial investment in 2017 of $510million.

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Deal rockets lithium-ion battery maker into new sales space

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 12:02 -- Paul Crompton
Deal rockets lithium-ion battery maker into new sales space

Korean battery giant LG Chem is to make a giant leap into a new application for its lithium-ion technology following a deal with NASA.

The company’s batteries will be used in spacesuits following successful internal short-circuit (ISC) stability tests by Nasa.

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China bus battery subsidy ban causes share slump for Korean suppliers

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 14:21 -- Paul Crompton
China bus battery subsidy ban causes share slump for Korean suppliers

Korean battery giants Samsung SDI and LG Chem saw shares slump by 10% and 7.1% respectively on news that Beijing will remove subsidies for nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) batteries for electric buses.

“There has not been enough safety verification or product development for new energy electric passenger vehicles,” said China’s Ministry of Equipment Industry Secretary Zhang Xiangmu, who added China had begun research into the chemistry late and could ‘not be sure’ about NMC batteries.

The decision has surprised some.

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SK Innovation expands Li-ion plant to meet EV targets

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 15:16 -- Paul Crompton
SK Innovation expands Li-ion plant to meet EV targets

Korean firm SK Innovation has expanded its manufacturing plant to ramp up its lithium-ion battery production.

The company, the energy holding unit of SK Group, has doubled its battery plant in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, to produce batteries for electric vehicle OEMs.

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