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ExxonMobil Chemical Introduces Two New Grades of Separator for Lithium-Ion Batteries

Comparison of battery performance using the older generation of monolayer separator and the new co-extruded multi-layer separator. Click to enlarge.

ExxonMobil Chemical introduced two new grades of its co-extruded separator film for lithium-ion batteries at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC) in Tampa, Florida (12-16 May). (Earlier post.)

The two new grades—V20CFD and V20EHD—developed by ExxonMobil Chemical and its Japanese affiliate, Tonen Chemical, join the two grades introduced last year (earlier post) and offer an improved balance of properties, including enhanced permeability, improved strength, reduced heat shrinkage and higher rupture temperature to improve battery safety and performance.

The separators are produced using a proprietary wet, bi-orientation manufacturing process. The films in the new family are co-extruded using specially tailored, high-heat resistant polymers for improved separator properties.

Properties of Co-extruded Separator Grades
Graden UnitsV25CGDV25EKDV20CFDV20EHD
Film thickness µm 25 25 20 20
Air permeability (Gurley) sec/100cc 180 270 170 290
Porosity % 49 46 43 42
Heat shrinkage MD (@105%deg;C) % 3.5 3.5 3.0 3.0
Heat shrinkage TD (@105°C) % 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.0
Puncture strength gf 360 550 280 430
Tensile strength MD kgf/cm2 700 1,100 650 1.050
Tensile strength TD kgf/cm2 800 1,300 750 1,300

Separators play a critical role in lithium-ion batteries; separators must offer good permeability to support power-related performance, while strength and thermal integrity are necessary from an abuse and safety perspective.

ExxonMobil Chemical has been developing separator films since 1991, with its film being used by Sony in the first commercial lithium-ion battery (LIB). Over the subsequent years, the company built up a portfolio of monolayer separator grades, tailored for differing requirements of the battery manufacturers.

The new family of co-extruded films will also continue to multiply, according to Pat Brant, chief scientist for ExxonMobil Chemical, based on customer need and input.

Those needs can vary with a number of factors, including battery format and chemistry. For example, the company anticipated that the two new, thinner grades in its V series would likely be applied in cells for mild hybrids or power tools, while the thicker original pair would be used for EV or PHEV cells. However, said Dr. Brant, the company is in discussions with a potential customer who wants to apply the thinner films in cells destined for higher-performance battery packs.

One of the value propositions of the co-extruded films is their ability to contain an exothermic event in battery. Even in the event of the eventual use of electrode or electrode-electrolyte pairings that carry less of a risk of a thermal event, Brant says, the co-extruded separators have value to add in terms of their strength, potential lighter-weight, and porosity which can enable improved performance.

In addition to the tuning of the new family of co-extruded separators, the company is also at work on the following next generation of separator films.



Exxon Mobil (and the other oil and gas companies) shouldn't be allowed to own technologies that compete with oil and gas. Their incentive otherwise is to keep us on the fuel that produces for them the highest profit margin, i.e., oil and gas. It's in their best interests to buy up the competing technoligies (batteries, solar, wind, waves, geothermal) and then fail to bring them to market. That's why we have anti-trust legislation. It should be enforced!


Shouldn't be allowed? Do you really think you could persuade Congress to pass such a law?

Do you realize, Mick, that they are locked out of most of the world's remaining oil reserves? You want to know what their incentive is? Not to go out of business as we pass out of the oil era. I'd wager they know better than anyone just how limited oil is. So, what will end up happening is diversification into other areas, like this one.

Mark Kiernan

Lets hope that the Rockerfellow shareholders will put pressure on Exxon to change its ways, as the whole world is suffering due to their and others like them inaction.

Sam Pyeatte

Shouldn't be allowed to own technologies that compete with oil and gas?? What a rediculous statement. The government is trying to get them to invest profits in R&D for this very purpose. It allows them to diversify, which is what every successful corporation does. As technology changes, they must adapt. ExxonMobil is an energy and chemical company. As such, anything they can do to advance these fields, they must do. The chemical complexity of oil is enormous and the derived products have spread thoughout our society. This is their job!


They're bringing it to market.

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