High Performance Activated Carbons for Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Although lead-acid batteries are relatively inexpensive, they have very short life in a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). The problem is the result of poor charge acceptance at the negative plate, and can be dramatically improved with conductive carbon additives. High surface area activated carbons have been shown to be most effective for improving life, but up till now there has been no effort to design an optimized activated carbon to improve the lifetime of lead-acid HEV batteries. TDA Research has been developing high performance, inexpensive activated carbons for over 10 years. We will use our ability to engineer pore sizes and surface area to optimize the performance of our activated carbons for use in lead-acid batteries, specifically to extend their life in micro and mild HEVs. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits Start/stop HEVs have 5 8 % better mileage than comparable sized cars with conventional engines, and their incremental cost is less than $1,000. Although established in Europe, sales in the US are just beginning. These cars use relatively conventional lead-acid batteries and our optimized activated carbons can improve their lifetime in start/stop HEVs, thus lowering battery replacement costs and helping to increase their sales. In the future, our carbon additives may allow the use of lead-acid batteries in mild HEVs like the Toyota Prius, reducing costs by up to $2000.