DuPont has introduced a nanofiber-based polymeric battery separator that boosts the performance and safety of lithium-ion batteries. DuPont Energain battery separators can increase power 15 to 30%, increase battery life by up to 20% and improve battery safety by providing stability at high temperatures, according to DuPont.
The company has begun construction on a facility in Chesterfield County, Va., to manufacture product for development and commercial sale.
While the initial uses for the separator are in hybrid and electric vehicle batteries, the technology also will be targeted for batteries in renewable energy, grid applications, specialty consumer applications, including laptops, cell phones and power tools, among others. Other products made using DuPont’s proprietary nanofiber technology will target a broad range of liquid filtration applications for the biopharmaceutical, microelectronics, food and beverage industries, offering superior retention, filter life and flow resistance.
DuPont Energain battery separators are produced into a web using a proprietary spinning process that creates continuous filaments with diameters between 200 and 1,000 nanometers. The separators exhibit stability and low shrinkage in high temperatures and are highly saturable in electrolyte liquids. The result is more efficient operation, longer battery life and improved safety, according to DuPont.
Batteries containing Energain separators can be quickly recharged, deliver improved performance and reduce the number of batteries needed by up to one-third for hybrid vehicles.
DuPont is working with a majority of the battery, equipment suppliers and automotive companies globally. The company has manufactured initial quantities of the separator material at sites in Wilmington, Del., and Seoul, South Korea. The new facility in Chesterfield County, Va., is expected to start up in the first quarter of 2011 and will initially be able to provide enough material to supply up to 20% of today’s hybrid and electric vehicle needs.