SINGAPORE, December 22, 2022 – noco-noco Pte. Ltd. (“noco-noco”) announces the launch of the X-SEPA™, a ground-breaking separator that helps to improve the performance of existing battery technologies and accelerate the speed of next-generation battery development. The X-SEPA™ features a three-dimensionally ordered array of pores, and with a multilayer structure, offers an optimal combination of membrane strength, high porosity, and improved battery performance. noco-noco has now overcome the challenges of mass production and will start shipping X-SEPA™ samples in January 2023.
Creating a new market
X-SEPA™ is a technology platform that transcends the typical concept of a separator to provide new added value to batteries. noco-noco’s parent company, 3DOM Alliance Inc. (“3DOM Alliance”), developed the X-SEPA™ over eight years of research and development in order to truly solve environmental problems. The separator has the most important function in a battery – it is a component that isolates the anode and cathode, holds electrolyte, and ensures ion conductivity between the electrodes. 3DOM Alliance’s single-layer separator has higher porosity and a uniform labyrinthine pore structure, which suppresses the formation of dendrites. However, increasing the porosity reduces the strength of the separator. Thus, in the pursuit of greater strength, dendrite suppression, and higher porosity, the multi-layer X-SEPA™ was born. The X-SEPA™ successfully balances performance in the outer layers of higher porosity and strength in the middle layer of lower porosity. These results were obtained from a New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)-funded project.
3DOM Alliance’s patent-pending multi-layer separator with a three-dimensionally ordered macroporous structure provides batteries with longer life, greater reliability (reduced rate of accidents, etc.), and higher rate discharge. Batteries equipped with the X-SEPA™ also have excellent heat resistance and are suitable for high-power applications such as air mobility take-off and landing. Most conventional batteries are unable to withstand high temperatures and deteriorate too quickly in tropical areas of high temperature and high humidity. Due to its unique structure and material, which makes it compatible with other temperature-resistant components, the X-SEPA™ is ideal for high temperature regions where high growth and large-scale electrification are anticipated.
Promoting digital transformation (DX) in battery development and manufacturing – High-precision modelling accelerates next-generation battery R&D
With the increase in demand for electric vehicles (EVs), there is a need for fundamental improvements in battery performance. Battery accidents hinder the spread of EVs worldwide; recalls cost automakers, and the disposal of EVs along with their batteries can result in very serious soil pollution. The unique structure of the X-SEPA™ prevents a major cause of short circuiting, and the highly heat-resistant material reduces battery accidents and damage. Additionally, the X-SEPA™ provides excellent high-load performance in batteries and reliability under various abnormal conditions due to the high temperature resistance of the polyimide material.
The X-SEPA™ will drive battery development to a new stage. It surpasses a separator’s conventional role to isolate the anode and cathode – it transforms battery performance and allows for the development of high-performance batteries. Unlike conventional separators with irregular pores, the X-SEPA™ has a uniform hexagonal close-packed pore structure, which allows for simulation through high-precision modelling, flexible separator structural design, and the optimization of various parameters. As a result, X-SEPA™ can be adapted to any type of battery. This “computable” quality is also important in that it allows for information fed back from the lab or the market to be utilized for further developments, thereby holding great potential to speed up the development process and drastically increase the chances of technological breakthroughs. In this way, the X-SEPA™ will dramatically transform “analogue” sites of battery development and manufacturing into ones fit for the DX era.
Aiming to introduce the X-SEPA™ to all batteries worldwide within five years
The X-SEPA™ provides double or more battery cycle life, allowing batteries to serve in multiple applications over the course of their lives – after the batteries’ first-life use in EVs, they can serve second-life use in energy storage systems (ESS), for example. Not only is this environmentally friendly, it also reduces cost per charge cycle. Extending battery life with the X-SEPA™ minimizes the environmental impact of each battery and unlocks new opportunities for circular use.
Decarbonization solution provider noco-noco aims to reposition long-life batteries as social infrastructure. First- and second-life use, as well as recycling, are essential to preserve the environment. Although electrification appears to be progressing globally for the betterment of the environment, battery manufacturing squeezes the earth’s resources and emits large volumes of CO₂, while discarded batteries can lead to grave pollution. noco-noco therefore strongly opposes business models that take advantage of increasing demand for EVs by mass producing and selling short-lived batteries. Instead, the company’s mission is to reduce CO₂ emissions and prevent pollution by prioritizing efficient energy use and maximally utilizing the minimum number of long-life batteries. noco-noco is determined to curtail battery-related accidents and make batteries an affordable and safe social infrastructure for everyone to use.
With no time to spare before the earth’s temperature rises by 1.5 degrees Celsius and reaches a point of no return, noco-noco recognizes an urgency to introduce the X-SEPA™ to all batteries worldwide within five years, before it is too late to protect the environment. Therefore, noco-noco will make X-SEPA™ technology widely available to all battery manufacturers and buy the batteries equipped with the X-SEPA™ for use in products (EVs, ESS, etc.) that will be leased in the company’s carbon-neutral leasing service. The X-SEPA™ will allow for batteries with double or more lifespan to be used for first- and second-life use, driving down the required number of batteries by 75% or more. noco-noco will gather partners who also value product longevity and work to create a mechanism that promotes sustainable growth.