Revolutionary Aerogel-Based Battery Separator

Industry: Energy

Country: USA


If a lithium-ion cell experiences accidental overcharging or misuse, the stored chemical energy within it can be suddenly released, manifesting as fire or explosions during a phenomenon known as thermal runaway. Thermal runaway involves exothermic chemical reactions between the electrodes and the electrolyte, triggered when the cell’s temperature surpasses a specific threshold. This increase in internal temperature initiates spontaneous reactions.


The temperature threshold at which thermal runaway reactions take place depends on the cell’s chemistry, state of charge, and design. Therefore, effectively managing the events leading to thermal runaway is vital for ensuring the safety of the battery. In this context, the separator plays a crucial role as a material in controlling this process.


Next-Ion’s aerogel offers several benefits when incorporated into battery separators. These advantages encompass chemical inertness, stability under high temperatures (up to 200°C) for safe battery operation, thermal stability, and the ability to maintain good cyclability, capacity, and power density. It outperforms current technologies by >10-50% depending on the battery composition. Their focus is on promoting ion transference, effectively preventing perilous hot spot formations at the electrode-electrolyte interface, thus mitigating risks of explosions or combustion. Additionally, it reduces internal resistance and minimizes lithium plating.