Swiss battery provider Leclanché says it has achieved “a significant breakthrough” in the safety of its lithium-ion batteries, without compromising cell performance.
By adding a special fire-retardant additive to its electrolyte formula composition, Leclanché says it has lowered the risk of a thermal event by close to 80%. The achievement has been validated by Intertek Germany, a third-party testing lab which conducted a series of nail penetration tests on Leclanché’s 60 Ah cell. The test cells were punctured, and an internal short circuit resulted, but they exhibited a far lower risk of fire than the same cells without the flame retardant additives.
Leclanché’s cells are made using a proprietary production process. Electrodes are manufactured using a water-based process rather than by using organic solvents such as NMP, which the company says results in a significantly reduced environmental footprint. Leclanché says its electrodes show high stability towards the flame retardant additives contained in the new electrolyte, and cell performance is uncompromised.
“While the battery industry continues to place considerable R&D resources into the development of solid-state batteries, there’s a critical need to enhance the safety of today’s high-energy-density lithium-ion cell technology,” said CTO Pierre Blanc. “Most efforts, until now, adversely impact the performance or longevity of cells. Leclanché has been able to develop a high-performance and high-energy-density lithium-ion cell exhibiting high safety characteristics without any negative impact on performance or longevity.”
“Our breakthrough should encourage manufacturers waiting on the sidelines for next-generation solid-state batteries to move forward with their advanced fleet vehicle designs today,” said CEO Anil Srivastava. “Safe lithium-ion batteries have arrived, and Leclanché has them.”
The company’s new non-flammable cells will be available for production beginning in the first quarter of 2023.