12 December 2007 14:03 [Source: ICIS news]
DUBAI (ICIS news)--ExxonMobil Chemical is hoping that its latest film separator technology will propel the adoption of lithium-ion batteries in energy-efficient hybrid and electric vehicles, a senior company official said on Wednesday.
The new technology brings an added dimension of safety to these vehicles, which have so far mostly been powered by heavier and less fuel-efficient nickel metal hydride batteries, said Jim Harris, the company’s senior vice president.
He was speaking to ICIS news at the sidelines of the 2nd Gulf Petrochemical and Chemical Association Forum which ends on Thursday.
Last week, ExxonMobil Chemical, together with ExxonMobil’s Japanese affiliate Tonen Chemical, announced the commercialisation of the new film separator, which is expected to improve the power, safety and reliability for lithium-ion batteries used in hybrid and electric vehicles.
Film separators are used in lithium-ion to keep negative and positive electrodes apart.
ExxonMobil Chemical also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tonen to study the feasibility of building a new film separator plant in ?xml:namespace>
The company, which had been working on the technology in the past two years, is now working with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to bring it to market, said Harris.
The films are co-extruded using specially tailored, high heat-resistant polymers.
Essentially, this makes the films able to operate at high temperatures and provides batteries with a shutdown mechanism, preventing them from catching fire should short-circuits occurs.
“We’ve taken our polymers research and applied it to this problem,” said Harris, adding that the firm started working on the technology two years ago.
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