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Ahlstrom-Munksjö to ramp up separators

Special nonwovens eliminate the risk of fires in portable electric devices.

29th April 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Greenville, SC, USA

Industrial, Transport/​Aerospace

Nonwovens manufacturer Ahlstrom-Munksjö has signed a marketing licence with Soteria Battery Innovation Group (BIG), allowing the company to proceed with the technical ramp-up of fibre-based separator solutions for the lithium-ion battery industry. The agreement is an important step in the commercialisation of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s solutions to the energy storage market.

The demand for energy storage is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, driven by vehicle electrification, a shift towards renewable energy, an increasing demand in stationary applications and effective electricity supply chain management.

Fibre-based materials are widely used in energy storage devices and thanks to its extensive expertise in cellulose, microglass and specialty nonwoven materials, Ahlstrom-Munksjö is developing a complete range of solutions to its customers under the FortiCell product platform.

Soteria Battery Innovation Group, based in Greenville, South Carolina, is an industry consortium dedicated to enabling portable electric power without the risk of fires. The Soteria BIG architecture uses thermally stable Dreamweaver separators made from advanced fibres.

The separator incorporates thermally stable nanofibres in a nonwoven matrix. When penetrated, conventional plastic separators can melt and shrink, leaving holes between the anode and cathode that can lead to short circuits. This in turn can cause overheating and even fires. By contrast, Dreamweaver's materials do not not shrink significantly even at temperatures of up to 300°C.

In 2018 Soteria BIG sold the first licence for its Dreamweaver battery separator technology to nonwovens manufacturer Glatfelter.

“We are very excited to welcome Ahlstrom-Munksjö as a licensee and look forward to helping the company use its global reach and unique capabilities to bring products to the market using the Dreamweaver separator technology to enhance lithium-ion battery safety,” says Brian Morin, CEO at Soteria BIG.

Ahlstrom-Munksjö continues to develop its offering for the energy storage industry. The latest addition is the FortiCell LAB range, a portfolio of fibre-based solutions for lead acid battery applications launched in the second half of 2020.

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