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Degussa Establishes Professorship Focused on Li-Ion Batteries

16 October 2006

Degussa AG, the global specialty chemicals company, has established a professorship for Applied Materials Sciences for Energy Storage and Conversion at Münster University (Germany) in collaboration with Chemetall GmbH and Volkswagen AG.

Their goal is to establish an internationally competitive research program on energy storage in large-volume lithium-ion batteries with a focus on automotive applications. In the process, the university and industry will be collaborating closely to drive marketable innovations. The professorship will be equipped with total funds of €2.25 million (US$2.81 million) for a five-year period.

Current battery technology does not offer adequate means of storing energy in large batteries, particularly in the area of automotive applications. However, in the field of drive technology in particular, the trends for the next decades are clearly pointing towards the use of electrical energy storage systems as a way of reducing fuel consumption. The task in this respect is to improve the energy and power density of batteries and their safety and durability—all important prerequisites for significantly lowering the costs of battery systems.

—Degussa announcement

The new professorship will be set up at the Institute for Physical Chemistry at Münster University’s Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutics.

Degussa AG manufactures electrodes for large-volume lithium-ion batteries and offers a ceramic membrane separator for use in batteries (SEPARION) which consists of a flexible substrate, normally a non-woven polymer, coated with a porous ceramic layer. The ceramic properties of the separator make it more temperature-stable than conventional polymer separators used in lithium-ion polymer batteries, according to Degussa, and therefore contribute towards preventing short circuits in the battery. (Earlier post.)

October 16, 2006 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

EUR 2.25 million for 5 years? Unless they also get substantial assistance in kind from Degussa and/or matching funds from the University, just how far are they going to get given that other companies and countries have a head start on them?

It's also a little odd that a professorship would be defined to narrowly cover only one specific technology. What if three months down the road someone comes up with an alternate, even more desireable battery chemistry that does not involve Lithium at all (unlikely, granted, but not impossible).

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