Leading aqueous polymer supplier Synthomer has secured funding to improve the performance and environmental impact of electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Along with its partners, the company has been awarded £760,826 from the ISCF Faraday Battery Challenge, a government project that invests in research environmentally friendly automotive battery technology.

Synthomer, which develops and markets polymers used in a variety of industries, will use the funds for a project investigating the “performance, manufacturability and environmental profile” of lithium-ion battery cells, the type of battery used in electric vehicles.

Overcoming the environmental impact of EV batteries

Although electric vehicles play a key part in reducing the carbon emissions produced by the transport industry, the production of electric vehicle battery production produces greenhouse emissions.

The processing of lithium for lithium-ion batteries also requires large volumes of water to produce, and can lead to toxic chemical leaks. With the UK government planning to ban sales of new petrol and diesel-powered passenger cars in 2035, lowering the environmental impact of this technology is key.

Synthomer’s project, named Synergy, will focus on improving the manufacturing and performance of the anode systems, and improving the safety and environmental impact of the cathode systems. This will not only lower the cost of production but also gain a better understanding of what is needed for the next generation of electric vehicles.

As well as Sybthomer, AMTE Power and the Centre for Process Innovation will also be involved in Synergy. Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, will fund the majority of the £1.1m project.

“Despite significant improvements in battery technology, further optimisation of raw materials is needed to achieve the targets of the automotive industry,” says Tom Castle, market development manager at Synthomer.

“Synergy is another example of us collaborating with active material development teams to maximise the combined value of the active and binder to cell manufacturers and ultimately to consumers.”


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