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Exxon develops new battery technology for hybrid use.

Ktulu

Diamond Member
Dec 16, 2000
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http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5334375.html

Exxon Mobil Corp. believes it has found an answer to a problem that has bedeviled the auto industry in recent years: using rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, like those found in cell phones and laptops, to power cars and trucks.

This weekend, at a conference in Anaheim, Calif., Exxon Mobil will unveil a super-thin plastic sheeting the company says can improve the power, safety and reliability of lithium-ion batteries for use in automobiles.

Exxon Mobil considers the film a breakthrough because it allows battery makers to build smaller and cheaper battery systems ? removing key obstacles that have kept automakers from building hybrid and electric vehicles on a wide scale.

"That desire to use batteries that are more powerful and lighter is something that the auto companies have yearned for for years," said Jim Harris, senior vice president at Exxon Mobil Chemical Co., a Houston unit of the Irving-based energy giant.

Today, most vehicles have toaster-sized nickel-metal hydride batteries under the hood. But battery makers and auto manufacturers have begun turning their attention to lithium-ion batteries because they are smaller, lighter, able to hold a charge longer and have a higher energy density.

"It's the natural next step for advanced battery technology," said Brian Corbett, a spokesman for General Motors Corp., which is developing models like the Chevrolet Volt that incorporate lithium-ion batteries.

Safety issues
First introduced by Sony in 1991, lithium-ion batteries were designed to help slim down portable electronics devices. But automakers have struggled to adapt them for vehicles because of operational limitations, high costs and safety issues.

Last year, 6 million Sony lithium-ion batteries in Dell and Apple notebook computers were recalled because of overheating that in some instances resulted in fires.

That recall gave a boost to companies working on improving lithium-ion batteries, including Exxon Mobil Chemical, which has 20 years of experience in the field, and Boston-based Optodot Corp., which has also developed a separator film for lithium-ion batteries.

Separator films are membranes that keep the battery's positive and negative fields, which are wrapped in a jelly-roll configuration, from touching.

Exxon Mobil developed its film with Japanese affiliate Tonen Chemical. Invented in research labs at Exxon Mobil's Baytown complex, the film is the first to squeeze multiple layers of plastic into a single white sheet the width of a human hair.

The added layers enable the batteries to run at higher temperatures ? and produce more power ? while still protecting them from overheating, company officials said. It also incorporates features that cause it to shut down if there is a short circuit in the battery.

Exxon Mobil sees the separator film technology as more than just a chance to green up its image. Company officials said there is a legitimate business motive for pursuing the technology.

"Clearly, hybrid and electric vehicles are going to play a role in the future, and we want to be a part of that," Harris said.

This year, Americans will buy 354,000 hybrid vehicles, accounting for about 2 percent of total U.S. auto sales, according to J.D. Power and Associates in Troy, Mich. By 2012, hybrid sales will grow to 1 million, or nearly 6 percent of the market, the firm projects.

A hybrid, like the Toyota Prius, combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor to achieve better fuel economy and lower emissions than vehicles with only a traditional internal combustion engine.

But hybrids still cost roughly $3,000 more than their gas-powered counterparts, and can weigh up to 900 pounds more, leading to sluggish performance.

More practical
If Exxon's film separator can reduce the costs and weight of battery systems, then hybrids could become more than a niche market, said Erich Merkle, auto analyst with IRN, an industry research firm in Grand Rapids, Mich.

"Quite honestly, that's the type of thing that's going to make hybrids much more practical, because right now there's some real economic factors that hold hybrid sales back," he said.

Exxon Mobil is working with the leading battery manufacturers to incorporate its film separator technology, Harris said. To date, the company has only produced test batches of the film but has the capability to begin mass production through its affiliate in Japan, he said.

Among the biggest lithium-ion battery manufacturers are Japan's Sony, South Korea's Samsung and Johnson Controls in Milwaukee, Wis.

But when asked if Exxon Mobil had contracts with those companies, Harris sidestepped, promising only that there is more news to come.
Exxon to Unveil New Battery Technology

© 2007 The Associated Press

HOUSTON ? Energy company Exxon Mobil said Wednesday it will present technology next month aimed at improving the efficiency and affordability of electronic and hybrid automobiles.

The company said it has codeveloped new film technology with Japanese affiliate Tonen Chemical that could allow lithium-ion batteries to be used in vehicles.

Lithium-ion batteries are currently used in cell phones, laptop computers and other consumer electronics, however, several auto makers are working to adapt them to vehicles. The most widely sold gas-electric hybrid car, Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius, uses a nickel-metal hydride battery.

Exxon said it is working with battery manufacturers to adapt the technology for use vehicles. The company is scheduled to present the technology at the Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exposition in Anaheim, Calif. in the first week of December.

Shares of Exxon Mobil rose 81 cents to $87.19 in morning trading.
Sounds like we'll be seeing far more higher mileage hybrids in the future.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,827
804
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It makes sense. Oil companies arent really oil companies per se, but energy companies. Chevron, Exxon, BP all spend a significant amount of R&D on alternative energy.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
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NiMH batteries suck compared to lithium. I didn't realize cars were not using lithium, despite safety concerns. Some lithium chemistries are quite safe now. The kind used in radio control vehicles can burn like a mother if they are punctured, but some newer lithium chemistries can withstand puncturing very well, offer almost as much capacity, at least as much charge/discharge rate, and so would seem to make sense.

I suppose another reason lithium hasn't taken off in cars is the substantially shorter lifespan of them, though again the newer chemistries address that well, too, though I have not heard of even the best lithium battery any good for more than 1000-2000 charges (similar to NiMH), so you will be replacing batteries regardless of the approach used.
 

Ktulu

Diamond Member
Dec 16, 2000
4,354
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Originally posted by: blackangst1
It makes sense. Oil companies arent really oil companies per se, but energy companies. Chevron, Exxon, BP all spend a significant amount of R&D on alternative energy.
Curios to see how Dave is going to spin this.
 
Nov 30, 2006
15,456
389
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Originally posted by: Ktulu
Originally posted by: blackangst1
It makes sense. Oil companies arent really oil companies per se, but energy companies. Chevron, Exxon, BP all spend a significant amount of R&D on alternative energy.
Curios to see how Dave is going to spin this.
LOL...that's the first thing I thought of when I read the topic title. But this is really, really good news !

 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,827
804
126
Originally posted by: Ktulu
Originally posted by: blackangst1
It makes sense. Oil companies arent really oil companies per se, but energy companies. Chevron, Exxon, BP all spend a significant amount of R&D on alternative energy.
Curios to see how Dave is going to spin this.
He wont. He went bye bye.
 

manowar821

Diamond Member
Mar 1, 2007
6,063
0
0
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: Ktulu
Originally posted by: blackangst1
It makes sense. Oil companies arent really oil companies per se, but energy companies. Chevron, Exxon, BP all spend a significant amount of R&D on alternative energy.
Curios to see how Dave is going to spin this.
He wont. He went bye bye.
What are you talking about...? Banned?
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
What are you talking about...? Banned?
Taking a one week vacation for cheering China on for screwing up a bunch of US military thanksgiving plans through some rejection of visitation for families or something.

What keeps the lithium car battery from getting wet?

Lithium + water = fire.
I believe all lithium cells are sealed. Even your cellphone battery may appear to notbe but if you crack the shell you'll see a sealed cell, the only exposure to outside world being the metal conductive tabs.
 

manowar821

Diamond Member
Mar 1, 2007
6,063
0
0
Originally posted by: Skoorb
What are you talking about...? Banned?
Taking a one week vacation for cheering China on for screwing up a bunch of US military thanksgiving plans through some rejection of visitation for families or something.

What keeps the lithium car battery from getting wet?

Lithium + water = fire.
I believe all lithium cells are sealed. Even your cellphone battery may appear to notbe but if you crack the shell you'll see a sealed cell, the only exposure to outside world being the metal conductive tabs.
That's fair.. :roll:
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,591
5
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Originally posted by: manowar821
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: Ktulu
Originally posted by: blackangst1
It makes sense. Oil companies arent really oil companies per se, but energy companies. Chevron, Exxon, BP all spend a significant amount of R&D on alternative energy.
Curios to see how Dave is going to spin this.
He wont. He went bye bye.
What are you talking about...? Banned?
Not that I heard - more like the possible loss of his high speed connection

 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
Originally posted by: EagleKeeper
Originally posted by: manowar821
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: Ktulu
Originally posted by: blackangst1
It makes sense. Oil companies arent really oil companies per se, but energy companies. Chevron, Exxon, BP all spend a significant amount of R&D on alternative energy.
Curios to see how Dave is going to spin this.
He wont. He went bye bye.
What are you talking about...? Banned?
Not that I heard - more like the possible loss of his high speed connection
link
 

manowar821

Diamond Member
Mar 1, 2007
6,063
0
0
Originally posted by: Skoorb
Originally posted by: EagleKeeper
Originally posted by: manowar821
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: Ktulu
Originally posted by: blackangst1
It makes sense. Oil companies arent really oil companies per se, but energy companies. Chevron, Exxon, BP all spend a significant amount of R&D on alternative energy.
Curios to see how Dave is going to spin this.
He wont. He went bye bye.
What are you talking about...? Banned?
Not that I heard - more like the possible loss of his high speed connection
link
Yeah, my sarcasm stands. That's not a very good reason for a ban.

By those standards, both ProfJohn and Pabster should be banned every other week.
 

Narmer

Diamond Member
Aug 27, 2006
5,293
0
0
Originally posted by: Skoorb
Originally posted by: EagleKeeper
Originally posted by: manowar821
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: Ktulu
Originally posted by: blackangst1
It makes sense. Oil companies arent really oil companies per se, but energy companies. Chevron, Exxon, BP all spend a significant amount of R&D on alternative energy.
Curios to see how Dave is going to spin this.
He wont. He went bye bye.
What are you talking about...? Banned?
Not that I heard - more like the possible loss of his high speed connection
link
That thread was weird. Nobody should've gotten vacation in that thread. The mods must be former sailors.
 

GrGr

Diamond Member
Sep 25, 2003
3,204
0
76
Yeah Dave said two words: "China rules" and got banned. Had he said "China rules it's own waters" or something the mods couldn't have found a reason to take offense.

 

BrownTown

Diamond Member
Dec 1, 2005
5,314
0
0
Anyways, back the battery stuff, there is no issue with water and lithium because the lithium is already ionized (hence lithium ION battery).
 

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