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MGC to Develop Key Materials for All Solid-State Batteries

published: 2018-01-10 14:33

The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reported on January 5 that Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC) has planned to develop solid-state electrolyte, the key material of all solid-state battery, before the end of 2020. MGC will cooperate with a lot of colleges such as Tohoku University and companies to speed up the development process of next-generation battery material. Its goal is to promote their adoption by 2024.

The report further indicated that Toyota-led Japanese manufacturers are accelerating the development of EV’s all solid-state battery. The material suppliers such as Toray and Sumitomo Chemical are working on the development of the material as well, making the competition for the next-generation’s battery development more severe.

Compared with current mainstream lithium battery, theoretically all solid-state battery comes with a larger volume and quicker charging speeds. It is expected to solve EV’s current obstacles such as insufficient cruising distance and long charging times.

The current EV lithium-ion battery uses electrolyte solution. All solid-state battery’s anode, cathode and electrolyte are solid-state. Thus, it has high safety and only takes several minutes to finish charging, which is far better than the current lithium-ion battery. Besides, it features a larger volume. The cruising distance after a full charge therefore has chance to increase.

On October 25, 2017, Toyota Motor stated that they plan to make EV and PHV next-generation all solid-state battery become practical before 2025. In a press conference at the Tokyo Motor Show on October 25, Toyota Executive Vice President Didier Leroy indicated that Toyota has applied for the largest number of patents for all solid-state batteries in the world and the research team for the battery consists of more than 200 engineers in order to speed up the development.

On December 21, 2017, the Sankei Shimbun reported that Nissan and Honda are developing all solid-state battery, which can enlarge the cruising distance and greatly shorten the charging time. They hoped that the next-generation battery can overcome EV’s disadvantages like long charging time and popularize EV.

Meanwhile, according to a report from The Nikkei, Toray is considering developing materials for all solid-state lithium-ion battery. In a conference on November 22, 2017, Toray CEO Akihiro Nikkaku stated that the company is focusing on all solid-state battery’s developing trend and is thinking about providing materials. Akihiro Nikkaku did not specify what the material is. However, it is rumored that the material could be graphene, which can increase electric conductivity and be used as battery material.

The current electrolyte solution-used lithium-ion battery requires a separator, which Toray produces. However, all solid-state battery doesn’t need a separator. If all solid-state battery becomes popular, it may cause impact on Toray’s battery material business. Thus, Toray is going to develop all solid-state battery material in accordance with the demand on the market.

 (Photo Source: MGC)

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