Cheaper, Safer Battery Production
November 13, 2012

New Method Leads To Safer, Cheaper Battery Production

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

For all of you who were worried, you can rest-assured as researchers from Aalto University in Finland have made the production of batteries both cheaper and safer.

The team developed a method for producing lithium batteries that is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than previous methods.

The new method succeeded in replacing the harmful methylpyrrolidone (NMP) solvent, which is used in the manufacturing of electrodes. Removing this solvent from the production process makes the production of batteries simpler and safer for employees. Production costs of batteries can be decreased by as much as five percent as well.

Some of the savings comes from the reduced cost of transporting and recycling harmful chemicals, and a lower risk of exposure to employees.

Improving production methods is important because of the expanding use of batteries across the globe.

Tanja Kallio, adjunct professor at Aalto University, said the increase in electric car use will strongly increase the global demand and production of batteries.

A prerequisite for giving up the harmful solvent used in batteries was changing the binding agent to one that is water-soluble.

The new binding agent, acrylic S020, wasn't found easily because it had to be water-soluble and also chemically, electrochemically and mechanically ideal for this purpose.

Researchers from the university achieved many significant results in battery research recently, including a find earlier this year to improve the durability of Lithium-ion batteries by covering the electrodes of lithium iron phosphate batteries with thin protective layers.

The researchers reported their latest findings about the safe, and cheaper batteries in the Journal of Power Sources.