South Korean battery material maker Betterial said on Friday that it has developed a technologyy that can use make nano-materials such as carbon nanotube as conductive additive for batteries.
Conductive additive are used between cathode and anode materials and current collectors such as copper and aluminum foils. They are used to increase the conductivity between them. Carbon black has been used the most as conductive additive but their conductivity has been unsatisfactory and caused damaged to the active materials cathode and anode.
Carbon nanotube are superior in conductivity compared to carbon black. However, carbon nanotube tends to clump together and it is difficult to spread them out. Additional dispersion liquid must be used but these are difficult to produce and needs equipment that can effectively spray them.
Betterial said it has developed a spray equipment for carbon nanotube dispersion. It said it has also successfully developed a carbon nanotube with the equipment.
Company CEO Yoo Gwang-hyun was formerly a researcher at LG Chem. He is an expert in carbon nanotube.
Carbon nanotube is more expensive than carbon black. But less of it is needed for 1kWh of power. According to Betterial, for a 1kWh battery, carbon black will cost 7,000 won per kg while carbon nanotube will cost 3,000 won per kg. Conductive additive can used in cathode as well as the anode. Using it in graphite, used for the anode, more silicon can be used to make the battery.
LG Chem was expanding carbon nanotube production at its Yeosu as they are used more and more as as conductive additive in battery production, CEO Yoo said.
Betterial has secured patents on how to disperse carbon nanotube that are clumped together and related equipment and material. The company has one registered patent and two that it issued related to the equipment.
Betterial was founded in September, 2018 and formerly named Tecxper. The company has collaborated with Agency for Defense Development to develop underwater sensor and production equipment for carbon nano electrode. The company is in its seed investment round.