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Degussa to Showcase Lithium-Ion Work at SAE World Congress

The Degussa Honda Civic with Li-ion battery pack.

Degussa, a global leader in the field of specialty chemicals, will showcase its work on lithium-ion batteries, hybrid vehicles and lightweight construction at the upcoming SAE 2007 World Congress in Detroit.

Degussa began volume production of electrodes for large-format lithium-ion batteries at the Li-Tech GmbH (SK Group) site in Germany in the fourth quarter of 2006. (Earlier post.) In Detroit, the company will exhibit a Honda Civic hybrid equipped with a li-ion battery made of Degussa electrodes with some 40,000 kilometers (24,855 miles) of on-road testing.

Degussa also offers  a ceramic membrane separator—SEPARION—which consists of a flexible substrate, normally a non-woven polymer, coated with a porous ceramic layer. The pore size can be selectively set by an appropriate choice of ceramic coating material.  According to Degussa, the ceramic properties of the separator make it more temperature-stable than conventional polymer separators used in lithium-ion polymer batteries, and therefore contribute towards preventing short circuits in the battery.

The company will also present adhesive solutions to replace welding, both in the chassis and the superstructure. Degussa says that every additional kilogram of the special adhesive makes the car 25 kilograms lighter. Degussa supplies silanes for the adhesives.



Now if they would just offer a 10 year warrantee for their batteries, then GM would have NO excuse not to manufacture the Volt!

tom deplume

GM's delay is all about the cost of the batteries not their performance. Thi article doesn't say their technology reduces cost.


Once they test another 100,000 mi. on that hybrid Honda Civic they will be able to do a better projection of cost/benifit
analysis for economy of scale production. By that time, the
2009 Toyota Li-Ion Prius should be at your nearest dealer with
at least a marginal 10mi. electric only range.


If GM REALLY cared, they would build the Volt with smaller batteries and existing tech and apply advances as they present themselves. Waiting for "perfect" batteries is just a red herring stall forced upon GM by their stockholders which is big oil.

GM’s Motto: “The greed of the few outweighs the needs of the many.” This is why they are dying. They will NEVER build the Volt at a price the average Joe car buyer can afford. It’s up to the east to bring us this technology. US Auto is dead!

Stan Peterson

Its all a capaitalist Plot. Conspiritists of the World Unite !

When oh when, will we cease this nonstop conspiracy nonsense? IO guess we would have ot probe the mind of a comitted Lib to discover the miswiring...


OK Stan , if its not a conspriacy , then its just utter incompetence, take your pick !


At least a conspiracy is a usually well thought out plan to further the initial deception. Incompetence seems to be the order of the day, compelled by a lack of any forethought whatsoever. The Big Three and their "group-think" seem to fall in the latter catagory. I think they want to play possum, in the middle of the road, untill Toyota runs them over, flat. Then, they can cry to Uncle Sam "foul play", and have him absolve them of all their future legacy costs to the UAW. "Now that we scapped you off the asphalt, and dusted you off, your going to have to be a good little three, and get out there and compete". After all, now that it's a level playing field, they should have no problems going toe to toe. Wait, it sounds as though it is a
well thought out plan after all, and it has been done before, legally. I should really give those guys more credit, they are undeniably thinking ahead, and into the future. Damn Capitalist
Genius. Go figure!

Mark A

Since when should a story on a HONDA and BATTERIES become an anti-GM rant??

And Tim, GM is not dying. Far from it, actually. And yes, they have a ways to go. Perhaps you are thinking of Chrysler who thinks putting a Hemi badge on everything makes the world right.

Back to the story, every little battery advancement will eventually bring results. This is a small advance. Much like the automobile in its infancey, many small advancements were made until they were eventually combined. That is where the battery industry is today.


Stan: "Its all a capaitalist Plot. Conspiritists of the World Unite ! ... "

LOL coming from the fellow who sees marxist plots behind everything green. :) It's a strange (and scary) country you live in where a liberal is considered left wing. In the rest of the world a liberal is usually considered to be somewhere in the center of the political spectrum.

As for the big 3 ... I suspect incompetence caused by living in a large corporate culture with unbelievable amounts of inertia.

On topic: I'd really love to know more about the batteries in the Honda and what the results have been so far. The only things that worries me about Li-on are calendar life and cost. I'd hate for a company like Tesla to make a big splash on EV only to be ambushed by batteries dieing from old age within a couple of years. I've heard lots of different comments on this potential problem but no concrete numbers.


Seems that over here in europe , the EV manufacturers are all turning to Zebra cells,
less cost , no cold problems , OK you have use a little juice to keep them snug and warm ,but they don´t seem to fall over with old age . I read a blog on the web from a swiss guy whos be using his zebra EV for his daliy commute for two years now and
has covered 32000 kms with no discernable loss in performance of the battery !


I agree to some degree with the guy who said that oil money might be the culprit. Another problem for any automanufacturer is that EV is the GAME CHANGER and that in itself is a big no. The whole business for them now is to sell us a vehicle, make us spend money on all IC spare parts and tonns of gas. WIth EV the only rotating part is
a rotor and that makes a electric motor virtually unbreakable (as long as its bearings are OK) that eliminates the whole satellite industry of servicing vehicle (lets say 90% of that industry). The list of uncertainties for them goes on and on, and I believe that is their problem. I personally believe that any of 3 big stocks is a sure short, cause even if they go with EV path (they will have to at some point) their
business model will completely change and looks like not for better.



Temp performnace

1 C cycles to 80% capacity (100% DOD)

Price per kWh

Any discussion without these numbers these press releases are a bit light on.

Show me the money!!!!!!



Harvey D.

Toyota's (80+ mpg, 2009 Prius III, with limited 10 miles electric range) seems to follow the proper step by step approach.

Lithium batteries performance will improve (8% to 12% a year) and their price will go down twice as fast as mass production and competition surge.

The 2010/12 (100+ mpg) Prius IV PHEV or improved Prius III (and 10+ other Toyotas) will most likely have a 60+ miles electric range with quick charge long lasting batteries.

PHEVs with progressive performance will be in the leading role during the next decade (2010-2020).

Low cost, higher performance batteries (or storage units) for AFFORDABLE long range highway BEVs may not be around for another 7-8 years.

Forget about the Volt, purchase a Prius II (yesterday), trade it for a Prius III in 2009 and for a Prius IV in 2012.

Enjoy good and save driving.


Wouldn't the Volt be more efficient than conventional cars even if it had no batteries at all? Just the benefit of being able to run the ICE at constant rpm should yield considerable improvement in efficiency. That's how locomotives work, right?


Not to be rude but by what engineering magic do you propose that would allow an ICE to run at constant RPM under a wide range of loads, speeds and rates of acceleration? If it were only that simple...


I get a kick out of some of these posts. I thought the article topic was li-ion batteries, but sure enough the GM bashers can be counted on for their usual badmouthing and conspiracy theories, and to an article not even mentioning GM. Classic.


I guess after hearing so much about advances in battery technology, we would actually expect to see some results in production.

Jim S.

Putting politics aside for a moment...

Back to the topic, which is primarily lithium-ion separators. These materials separate the two electrodes of the battery and are a key aspect of their performance. Current separators are made from paper thin PLASTIC. If this stuff gets hot and melts even a little bit, the two electrodes short together, which could result in a bomb-like reaction. (Remember that the fluids in a lithium ion cell are highly flammable solvents. Also, under certain conditions in one of these batteries, lithium METAL could be formed, which will burn spontaneously in the presence of normal air.)

Developing new separators that are more robust for these high energy cells is necessary for them to be practical in a high volume, high stress automotive environment. The other very interesting aspect of this new separator is that the porosity can apparently be controlled in an improved fashion. The ability of the lithium ions to "flow" through the separator dictates how fast these batteries can be discharged, i.e. how much POWER can be taken from the units.

WRT the post by Alex, the W/L and W/Kg are relevant here, reflecting instantaneous power. The Wh/L and Wh/Kg, reflective of energy density would likely be unchanged by better separator. Both of these values would be kept close to the vest by these companies while under development anyway, but the tidbit about the ceramic coating is the real info.

I think the point of the article is that "Hey, we've got some robust electrodes and new robust separators for these batteries, and look how many miles we have so far. Cool huh?" This is a key point, as we need to move away from batteries that are optimized for cell phones and towards batteries that are robust enough for CARS and TRUCKS.

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