Heraeus launches new carbon additives to improve lead-acid batteries

New carbon additives for lead-acid batteries were launched on September 13 by Heraeus Battery Technology, which claims its Porocarb carbon powders increase charge acceptance by up to 20% and life cycle by 100%. The additive has potential in all industrial and automotive applications, especially start-stop batteries, the firm says.

“Porocarb is a product family of synthetic porous carbon powders tailored specifically for demanding electrochemical applications in which the needs for a designed porosity intersect good kinetic accessibility,” says the firm, which claims its product is the first conductive additive that ensures electronic connectivity within the electrode and enhances ionic conductivity.

“Even at highest levels of electrode compression and loading, Porocarb ascertains open pathways within the electrode that help with electrolyte supply and distribution during filling and operation. It enables advanced electrochemical systems that were previously not achievable using standard carbon conductive additives.”

Developed in 2014, the additives have been tested with ‘actual customer pilots’, says the firm, and have demonstrated the following improvements:

  • Increased charge acceptance of up to 120%
  • Quick recharging in advanced lead-acid batteries for brake energy recovery
  • Increasing cycle life of up to 100%
  • Nearly 50% greater capacity at deep-discharge operations for longer power supply in industrial and automotive applications.

Despite the global trend moving towards electric vehicles, the lead-acid battery industry is still expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% up to 2020, to reach a value of $59 billion, the market research company Future Market Insights predicts.

“Some of the technical limitations such as low energy density and weight of the battery offer little resistance towards the growth of this market,” the report says.