Study: Composites in lithium-ion batteries show promise

A new market study by Eldib Engineering & Research Inc. shows that the profitability in producing lithium ion battery separators (LIBS) by the dry process is 12 percent larger than the wet process employed by some manufacturers.

A new market study released by Eldib Engineering & Research Inc. (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) shows that the profitability in producing lithium ion battery separators (LIBS) by the dry process is 12 percent larger than the wet process employed by some manufacturers. LIBS, key elements of lithium ion batteries, are composites of sorts consisting of a polyethylene film sandwiched between two porous polypropylene (or other polymer) films, and may contain conductive salts or other fillers for mechanical properties. The major producers of these separators are all expanding aggressively in anticipation of market demand. Separators represent about 15 to 20 percent of the materials cost of lithium ion batteries and as such come under careful scrutiny in the attempt to lower battery costs. Long term safety and reliability as well as rapid charge and discharge capability are key considerations, with the growth of electric cars like the Chevy Volt and other plug-in hybrid-gasoline and electric vehicles (PHEVs). Three manufacturers supply about 80 percent of the total market for this category of batteries. To obtain the market report, contact Dr. Andrew Eldib, (908) 464-2244.