Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan Establishes Lithium Battery Consortium

April 08, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

The Taiwan government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute announced the formation of a new battery consortium aimed at developing special STOBA batteries. Approximately twenty battery manufacturers in Taiwan have agreed to start developing products with the new STOBA safety material that keeps lithium-ion cells from overheating when damaged.

ITRI developed the nano-grade high-molecular material, STOBA (Self-Terminated Oligomers with hyper-Branched Architecture). STOBA works to keep damaged batteries from overheating, thereby avoiding meltdowns or fires. The consortium companies will also begin working with customers to potentially add the STOBA material to existing products.

Simplo Technology, one of the largest makers of laptop computer batteries in the world, is a member of the consortium, as is battery manufacturer E-One Moli Energy, which intends to mass produce STOBA-based lithium-ion batteries by the fourth quarter of 2010.

E-One and ITRI began collaborating in 2009 to explore ways to make lithium-ion batteries for hybrid cars and electric cars more safe and efficient as part of a five-year deal that benefited from government incentives for alternative energy projects. E-One manufactures batteries for BMW’s Mini E, an experimental electric vehicle that utilizes lithium-ion battery technology.

ITRI hopes the consortium will stimulate NT$150 billion (US$4.74 billion) in investment and create 50,000 new jobs.