Celgard, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polypore International, Inc. and a leading global supplier of microporous separators used in primary and secondary (rechargeable) lithium-ion batteries, recently submitted an application for grant funding under the US Department of Energy (DOE) Electric Drive Vehicle (EDV) Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative (DE-FOA-0000026).
Celgard is seeking federal funds through this grant initiative to increase its lithium-ion battery separator production capacity in the United States. The proposed capacity expansion would be implemented at Celgard’s existing Charlotte, North Carolina, facility and at an additional manufacturing facility that would be built at a second US location in the Southeast.
Celgard uses a proprietary trilayer technology in its polypropylene and/or polyethylene separators (electrolytic membranes). The separators are manufactured with a dry (solvent-free) process, and offer excellent resistance to acids, bases, and most chemicals.
They feature a uniform submicron pore structure with high chemical and thermal stability, and oxidation resistance for excellent cycling and trickle charge performance. “Zero TD” shrinkage offers reduced internal shorting and improved high temperature behavior.
In December 2008, Celgard received a $2.3-million contract from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) to develop separator technology for lithium-ion batteries for hybrid-electric (HEV) and plug-in hybrid-electric (PHEV) vehicles. (Earlier post.)
The 18-month cost-share contract involves demonstrating performance characteristics of high-temperature melt integrity (HTMI) lithium-ion battery separators, focusing on abuse tolerances, production process definition and scale-up parameters. A standard definition and protocol for measuring HTMI will also be developed as a part of this contract.
Celgard is one of the largest participants in the United States lithium battery supply chain. Celgard separators are primarily used in lithium-ion batteries for personal electronic devices such as notebook computers, mobile telephones and digital cameras, as well as for power tools, reserve power and electricity grid storage systems and EDVs.
The DOE-managed grant initiative is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and provides up to approximately $2 billion in federal funding to support the development of US-based advanced battery production for the EDV market.