Sumitomo Chemical is to quadruple production of its lithium-ion secondary battery separators and become a majority stake-holder in a cathode firm.
Separator production capacity will be raised in a ‘stepwise manner’, with the initial expanded commercial-scale production coming on stream in August 2017.
Belgian-based Solvay speciality chemicals showed its range of Solef®polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) materials for the battery market including its new PVDF technology for solvent and water based separator coatings for high-energy, high-safety and high-sustainability lithium-ion batteries at Interbattery in Seoul Korea last month.
With Korean makers at the heart of battery development for the EV market, Solvay is the only PVDF supplier that uses both emulsion and suspension polymerization technology, thereby offering the industry the broadest range of high-performance binders and separator coating materials.
Lithium-ion and lead-acid battery separator firm Polypore International has been sold for around $3.2billion in two separate deals.
The US company sold its Energy Storage business to Japanese firm Asahi Kasei Corporation for around $2.2billion and its Separations Media segment to US based 3M Co for around $1billion.
Separator maker Microporous has hired Antonio Abriola as director of engineering at its headquarters in Piney Flats, US.
Abriola will manage a team of engineers at the Tennessee headquarters, engineering activities at the plant as well as new projects in the US and Microporous’ Austrian facility in Feistritz.
Lithium separator maker Dreamweaver International (Dreamweaver) has launched a line of nanofibre-based separators for supercapacitors.
According to the US company, the separators of the Silver AR line show 27% lower internal resistance. In side-by-side comparisons done by outside laboratories comparing Dreamweaver’s Silver AR line to a competitor, the separators also showed 63% lower Gurley resistance, 21% higher strength and 9% higher capacitance.
Separator manufacturer Celgard’s Concord, North Carolina manufacturing plant has received certification for its products to be used in the electric drive vehicle market.
The ISO/TS 16949 Quality Management System certification is an international standard with specific requirements for the automotive industry. All major vehicle manufacturers subscribe to this standard, which means separators from the Concord plant can be used in lithium-ion batteries in electric cars.
Tokyo-based W-Scope Corporation has developed a separator for lithium-ion batteries that can withstand higher temperatures without damage, increasing safety by reducing the risk of battery fires.
The new separator material can withstand temperatures of 200°C for one minute without damage. In comparison, other separators can only withstand temperatures up to around 160°C, according to W-Scope.
The company has begun shipping samples and plans to begin mass production of the new separator in the second half of the year, offering versions in thicknesses ranging from 0.03 mm to less than 0.01 mm.
W-Scope predicts around 10 firms will begin using its new separators during 2013, and that by 2015 these value-added products will account for roughly 30% of its overall separator shipments.