Ballistic Missile System Innovative Batteries

Period of Performance: 09/19/2003 - 04/19/2004

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

MicroCoating Technologies (formerly CCVD)
5315 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30341
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency requires high energy density batteries (500-900 Wh/L) for expendable space launch vehicle power applications. Lithium thionyl chloride battery chemistry provides very high energy densities to these applications due to the light weight of lithium and thionyl chloride solvent (500-900 Wh/L). However, due to the reactive nature of thionyl chlorides, the buildup of lithium chloride on the cathode surface during discharge hinders their utility due to the resulting loss in cathode pore utilization. All efforts to date to solve the problem with supported catalysts on carbon must first make or buy the supported material followed by mixing with Teflon binder and then casting into the composite anode layer. Combustion chemical vapor deposition of these composite layers can be beneficial by increasing the throughput rate because it can be used to deposit a composite catalyst layer of defined composition from inexpensive active catalyst precursor, Teflon binder, and high surface area carbon in a single processing step. Additionally, the high porosity of our composites has the potential to provide further enhancements in rate capability and pore utilization. Lithium thionyl chloride (LTC) batteries have application where high power, and high energy densities are required. This effort will enhance the practical manufacturing of LTC batteries so that MDA will have a less expensive and higher performing battery for their needs.