Hydro has created a special battery foil HyLectral, which ensures unmatched constant surface quality, eco-friendlier battery production and an optimum efficiency in use. This achievement greatly impressed the judges of the Alufoil Trophy 2016 competition who gave it an award in the Technical Innovation category.
This special aluminium foil has been developed for use as cathode current collectors in Lithium-Ion batteries.
The performance of these batteries is primarily determined by a high cycle stability, in conjunction with satisfactory retained capacity.
This requires a very clean surface and high metal purity. Hydro has developed a chemical degreasing process after rolling to achieve a foil in as-rolled robustness, with constant cleanliness of the surface.
Underlining the judging panel’s decision Head judge Louis Lindenberg, global packaging sustainability director for Unilever said, “This cathode material is a breakthrough in batteries for renewable energy technology, to secure either electro-mobility or stationary power, particularly in remote locations. It can serve as the catalyst for a reliable transition from fossil based sources of power supply to renewable.”
The established thermal process of degreasing foil can deliver a potentially softened material, which could still contain irregularities or impurities on the surface. Replacing them with eco-friendly water-based systems enables the aluminium foil to combine as base substrate and current collector, with low electrical transition resistance, for optimum transmission of electric current.
“We are particularly pleased with this award, as sustainable societies and industries need clean, reliable and affordable power supply. Also, being part of a solution here is an important step towards our goal to become a carbon neutral company by 2020,” commented Manfred Mertens, head of Hydro's Rolled Vision team.
Currently Hydro is partnering with battery producer Leclanché in a pilot project in the Azores to provide rechargeable cells with a long service life. The vision herewith is to secure a constant, reliable supply of power based on renewable energy sources like wind or photovoltaics, which do not always provide stable power generation.
The Alufoil Trophy is organised each year by EAFA, the European Aluminium Foil Association.