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☁️ "Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Lithium Ion Batteries"

Climate 21

Photo by Kumpan Electric / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Tom Raftery
Guest: John Cooley | Chief of Products | Nanoramic Laboratories
Category: ☁️ Carbon Reduction | Lithium Ion Batteries

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Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[1:59] “[At] Nanoramic today, we really focus on electric vehicle batteries. And in general, we have become an energy storage technology developer and provider. We started in 2009 […] as a spin out of MIT. […] We are squarely in cleantech applications with the technology that we've developed in a market that's really exciting for CO2 emissions reductions and […] impacting climate change.”

[8:06] “As we came into 2017, we started to realize that we had a lot of know-how and value add, not necessarily just on the energy storage device level, but really on the materials that go into the energy storage devices that enable them. […] We then broadened to advanced materials that enable energy storage. And this happened at just about the same time that the electric vehicle renaissance was beginning. And we realized that we had developed a pretty cool electrode technology for ultra capacitors. And it eliminates one of the most limiting materials inside of the device. […] We could transfer that intellectual property over to lithium ion batteries pretty quickly, and make a huge impact on how lithium ion batteries are made. And that's Neocarbonix, […] our lithium ion battery technology.”

[10:01] “In the electrodes inside of a lithium ion battery, there's a dry material, that's called the active material, that's coated on the two foils inside of the battery to make the two electrodes, the anode and cathode. And to hold that material together, and also to hold it to the foils, there's a binder called PVDF, which is […] essentially a polymer or plastic material that holds everything together. […] But it comes with a lot of drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is […] it's an electrically non conductive material inside of a device that's supposed to be electrically conductive. And so it gets in the way. It reduces the power capability of the device. It generates heat, which is a big problem for a number of reasons inside of lithium ion batteries, not the least of which is safety, but also efficiency.”

[10:56] “The thing that's a little more subtle, but in some ways, even more impactful is that this binder material complicates the manufacturing process. It makes it expensive and it requires the use of toxic and expensive chemicals to dissolve the binder in the process. And it also requires quite a lot of energy to evaporate the solvents that are required to dissolve this material. And so it creates a little bit of a plot hole in the transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles.”

[11:29] “The overall societal pressure and goal is to reduce CO2 emissions at large, but you're using quite a lot of energy in the battery manufacturing process itself. And that releases CO2 emissions on its own. And so, one of the advantages of Neocarbonix is that we eliminate this conventional binder from the electrodes. We eliminate therefore, the requirement for this particular special solvent that's used to dissolve that binder. And we can use things that are much easier to evaporate like water, or alcohol based solvents, or other solvents. And when we do that, we reduce the energy consumption in […] the entire battery manufacturing process […] by 25%. […] That's about a half a million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year that we've removed from the battery manufacturing process.”

[12:23] “It also drives cost down if you drive the energy consumption down. So our batteries are lower cost, especially on a dollars per energy basis, dollars per kilowatt hour of battery capacity basis. And it also improves the range of the electric vehicle. So we get about 30% nominally […] increase in energy density, which corresponds to a 30% increase in range. And there are other benefits as well, [like] fast charge. […] It's also a battery technology that's more recyclable.”

Rating: ☁️☁️☁️

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 39 min | 🗓️ 06/14/2022
✅ Time saved: 37 min

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