Electromobility: Revolutionary battery storage

technology report online, September 2016

Heraeus is focusing on developing materials for energy storage in highly efficient battery systems, such as for electric and hybrid vehicles. The carbon-based platform Porocarb revolutionized the battery technology as a functional performance-enhancing additive: it allows an increase in the energy density while maintaining the charging capacity of batteries for electric vehicles.

A battery storage system involves four fundamental factors: energy (storage capacity), performance (current stability), life span (cycle stability), and safety. These determine the price of the battery. The factors energy and performance in particular still show a great deal of potential for development and optimization, especially when it comes to electromobile energy storage. New developments like the conductive carbon powder Porocarb , used as a battery additive, play an important role in this effort.

Porocarb® for electromobility

Interview with Dr. Dominik Samuelis, Head of Innovation at the Battery Start-up, Heraeus New Businesses

Dr. Dominik Samuelis
Dr. Dominik Samuelis

What specifically is Heraeus contributing with its (further) development of Porocarb for the batteries of tomorrow?

Our Porocarb product line makes it possible to improve the properties of a wide variety of storage technologies. The open pore structure of Porocarb can be used to selectively optimize the porosity in battery electrodes, thereby enhancing the transport processes in batteries. Our solutions for lithium ion batteries, which we, together with battery manufacturers, are continuing to develop, can improve the volumetric energy density of these batteries by up to 20%. In addition to enhancing energy density, however, Porocarb can also lead to major savings in the process chain for manufacturing lithium-ion cells. Here too, the open pore structure of Porocarb is useful in processes such as drying electrode coatings and filling with electrolyte.

In which fields of application does Porocarb play an important role, now and in the future?

We see the primary applications for Porocarb in energy storage for electromobility. We will introduce our new Porocarb product series for supercapacitors at the leading trade show for storage technologies, The Battery Show in Novi, Michigan. This relatively new storage technology, which will play an important role in electromobility, already exhibits an extremely high current carrying capacity, meaning the technology is already quite powerful. By adding Porocarb, however, we can improve its performance even more.

What development goals are you pursuing?

An important goal for us at present is to develop Porocarb-based electrode additives that specifically improve the fast charging capacity of lithium ion batteries. Eco-friendliness and sustainability are also major considerations: We are working to develop coating solutions with Porocarb that are water-based and use no toxic organic solvents.

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