October 2, 2022

Amid more EV battery fires, Natrion unveils new solid-state battery components that would dramatically reduce fire risk

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Performance data on the patented new materials from Natrion dwarfs current state-of-the-art technology benchmarks

  • Lower fire risks
  • Equivalent coulombic efficiency
  • Faster charge/discharge times

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Sept. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Natrion, a leader in solid state electric vehicle battery technology, today unveiled performance metrics for its patented solid-electrolyte separator in state-of-the-art Li-ion battery cells using graphite anode. This comes as more and more reports of lithium battery fires make headlines.

The new material, LISIC278, is a version of Natrion’s patented Lithium Solid Ionic Composite (LISIC) electrolyte made to mimic the exact specifications of a standard polyolefin separator while utilizing significantly less liquid electrolyte. LISIC accomplishes this by delivering high ion transport capability at ambient conditions while having a thermal resilience in excess of 200°C and being fully dense (zero porosity). The result is a near-zero fire risk for batteries built with LISIC, and a significantly reduced ability for a thermal event to intensify or expand.

“Reducing our reliance on flammable liquids in EV batteries is key to reducing fire risk and ultimately making mass EV adoption more viable. So the fact that this data shows we can produce battery cells that are just as efficient with only a small fraction of that liquid is a huge win,” said Natrion Co-Founder and CEO Alex Kosyakov. “We’re confident that this indicates the potential for many more milestones to be achieved.”

Natrion tested its new material over multiple controlled lab experiments using pouch cells up to 11 layers in thickness. In one controlled experiment, Natrion compared its LISIC278 against a standard separator at the one-layer pouch level.

The control used was a standard pouch containing NMC532 cathode, LP40 liquid electrolyte, and a natural graphite anode with a conventional state-of-the-art separator. The Natrion pouch was identical but used the LISIC278 separator in place of the conventional one.

Amid more EV battery fires, Natrion unveils new solid-state battery components that would dramatically reduce fire risk

Compared with the conventional cell, Natrion’s LISIC278 demonstrated:

  • 40% faster charge time: At a given capacity, the Natrion cell took just 3 hours to charge, compared with 5 hours for the conventional one at the same capacity
  • Exponentially lower fire risk: The Natrion cell achieved this fast charge time with only about 1/10th of the flammable liquid as the conventional cell
  • High initial coulombic efficiency: Conventional Li-ion cells typically discharge less energy than they are charged with during the first few times that they are cycled which contributes to permanent capacity loss (i.e. lower available energy or range). Natrion cells exhibited higher initial coulombic efficiencies and resultantly improved capacity retention at higher C-rates.

“Achieving high coulombic efficiency while using 70-90% less liquid electrolyte is difficult, not to mention given this capacity and C-rate threshold,” said Dr. Jon Tuck, Holistic Energy Scientist and energy storage consultant at Silent Koala. “These results are highly promising and show a versatility of use for LISIC that we have yet to see from other solid-state electrolyte materials. It signals the potential of Natrion’s materials to really advance the industry and the technological feats being developed.”

In sum, Natrion’s cell was able to deliver more energy at higher charge/discharge rates while using less flammable material. Importantly, this was accomplished using a solid electrolyte separator that is built to the exact same specifications of existing separators, for rapid integration in current battery manufacturing processes.

The company will be unveiling its results for Lithium-anode data in the coming weeks.