DuPont Invests In Battery Separators

DuPont has unveiled plan to build a new facility in Chesterfield County, VA to make Energain battery separators. This nanofiber-based polymeric battery separator can increase power 15-30%, increase battery life by up to 20% and improve battery separator safety by providing stability at high temperatures. With more battery power, drivers can travel farther on a single charge and accelerate more quickly and safety.

The initial use of these separators are in hybrid and electric vehicle batteries, the technology is also be targeted for batteries in renewable energy, grid applications, specialty consumer applications including laptops, cell phones and power tools. Other products made using DuPont’s proprietary nanofiber technology will target a range of liquid filtration applications for biopharmaceuitcal, microelectronics and the bood and beverage industries.

“This launch and our investment in a new production facility are important steps in our strategy to expand DuPont’s role in energy storage,”said Thomas Powell, president of DuPont Protection Technologies. “What sets DuPont apart is our integrated science and proven results for better, safer and more sustainable performance.”

Calling Energain a breakthrough platform technology, Mr. Powell added that he expects to translate improvements we’ve seen in automotive battery applications to deliver equal or better battery performance in specialty consumer electronics, where reliable, faster and longer lasting battery power are essenital. DuPont esimates that by 2015, the market for high performance lithium batteries along will total more than $7 billion annually, primarily for electric vehicle applications and some photovoltaics and grid storage.

Energain is made using a proprietary spinning process that creates continuous filaments with diameters between 200 and 1000 nanometers. They can exhibit stability and low shrinkage in high temperatures and are highly saturable in electyrolyte liquids.

DuPont has already been supplying the product from its sites in Wilmington, DE and Seoul, South Korea. The new facility is expected to start up in the first quarter of 2011.


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