Optodot and LG Chem sign patent license agreement for boehmite ceramic-coated separators for Li-ion batteries
Boehmite—an aluminium oxide hydroxide (γ-AlO(OH)) mineral, and a component of the aluminium ore bauxite—is a key material used in ceramic coating layers. The patent portfolio includes 20 patents issued in the US, Japan, Korea, China, and Europe. The license permits LG Chem to utilize boehmite separator films for lithium-ion batteries.
We are pleased that LG has shown a strong interest in the boehmite technology. Boehmite ceramic coating layers offer a number of distinct benefits in lithium-ion batteries, including improved thermal stability to enhance the safety of lithium-ion batteries.—Dr. Steven A. Carlson, president and CEO of Optodot
Conventional lithium ion battery separators reinforced with a ceramic coating (ceramic coated separators, CCS) have demonstrated significant improvements to the safety, cycle life, and performance of lithium ion batteries (LIBs); the ceramic coating helps prevent short-circuits inside lithium-ion batteries by preventing dendrite growth.
LG Chem introduced its own ceramic-coated Safety Reinforced Separator (SRS) technology in 2006, emphasizing its high thermal stability and excellent hardness compared to conventional polyolefin separators. The next generation of SRS technology reduced the required coating thickness by 20%, reducing binder content by 50% while increasing the loading of ceramic particles by 20%. (Earlier post.)
Optodot says that boehmite is a proven candidate material for ceramic coated separators with significant market share in CCS. Optodot believes that boehmite has several advantages over alumina, including:
Lower density by 25% of boehmite compared to alumina for lower cost and lower coating weight;
Optodot’s boehmite coating provides greater mix stability and coatability; and
Boehmite is much less abrasive than alumina (mohs hardness of 3.5 vs 9) for extended life of coating and slitting process equipment.
Optodot Corporation is an intellectual property, product development, and contract services company specializing in a wide variety of products, including lithium-ion batteries and separators.
In addition to developing its own boehmite ceramic coating, Optodot is developing next-generation all-ceramic boehmite separators that are being evaluated by several leading lithium-ion battery manufacturers. The all-ceramic separators, trademarked NPORE, eliminate the need for the polyolefin support layer, offering a combination of higher heat resistance and thinner ceramic separators for safer, higher energy density lithium-ion batteries.
Since its founding in 2000, Optodot has worked with private-sector companies (from startup to Global 50) and federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense and Department of Energy.