A new battery 90% cheaper than lithium-ion!
Lithium-ion batteries have a very important role in the world of technology. Indeed, these feed almost everything! A Japanese engineer, formerly at Nissan, spoke of the possibility of reducing mass production costs by 90% while improving safety.
A significant reduction in costs
Hideaki Horie is a Japanese engineer who worked for Nissan Motor Co. In 2018, he founded the company APB Corp. The objective? Manufacture “all polymer batteries”, as he explains in an article in The Japan Times daily published on July 8, 2020. It is about a production method allowing to reduce costs by 90%! Further details are provided in a press release (PDF / 2 pages) published on June 30, 2020.
According to Hideaki Horie, manufacturing lithium-ion batteries is very expensive. The point is, manufacturing costs remain very high despite the mass production process that is supposed to bring down prices. It turns out that components such as metal electrodes or even liquid electrolytes require ultra-modern production lines, comparable to those of factories manufacturing semiconductors.
Indeed, we are talking about “clean room” conditions. The expert evokes airlocks to control humidity, constant air filtering as well as rigorous precision to avoid contamination of highly reactive materials. However, the costs are such that only a handful of leading players are able to afford a factory.
A story of compromise
APB Corp (All Polymer Batteries) could initiate a small revolution in the sector. His secret? Replace the usual components with a stack of polymer sheets (see below). However, the more layers there are, the more the battery capacity increases.
According to Hideaki Horie, this process would allow a simplified production as can be that of steel. Otherwise, overvoltage concerns regarding lithium-ion batteries would not exist in the case of ABP architecture. This project recently received support from industrial equipment manufacturer Yokogawa Electric Corp. and the carbon fiber manufacturer Teijin Ltd.
However, perfection does not exist and it turns out that polymers are less conductive. In other words, the volume of these new batteries will be larger for a similar capacity. However, this constraint could represent a brake despite the attractive promises of reducing manufacturing costs. Thus, companies wishing to acquire such batteries will therefore have to deal with dimensional constraints.
https://sciencepost.fr/une-nouvelle-bat ... thium-ion/
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/ ... xR0g54zaUl