More sustainability for e-mobility

With an intelligent innovation, Dr. Simon Rost and his research team are making electric motors more effective and environmentally friendly. In this way, ELANTAS is not only contributing to the sustainability of e-mobility, but also opening up new perspectives for other areas.

For 16 years, the PhD chemist has been developing sustainable solutions in the ELANTAS division. The latest innovation is attracting keen interest from the automotive industry even before its market launch.

E-mobility is the future. Electrically powered cars emit no carbon dioxide and are very quiet. But electric motors, too, need to be maintained and replaced if necessary. When action should be taken is often a matter of judgment or only becomes apparent during a more or less complex inspection.

Things are different with the current ELANTAS innovation: A special dye molecule precisely indicates the age condition of the insulation material. As a consequence, it is possible to tell precisely from the color whether a motor will soon need to be replaced.

Innovative dye molecule
The path to the goal, in cooperation with the University of Halle, led to an analysis of the aging properties of insulating materials: What exactly happens during the aging process? Which fission products are released at what time? Once a specific fission product had been identified, the researchers developed a dye molecule that had to withstand temperatures of up to 180 °C, among other things. The aim was to combine high stability with equally high sensitivity – not an easy task, but one that could be solved using a special so-called stilbene dye. In the end, it was possible to meet all the requirements and thus implement a genuine market innovation. The response speaks for itself: Even before the market launch, the automotive industry is showing a keen interest in the development.

Another ALTANA subsidiary also has an innovation in the pipeline that will make the use of the ELANTAS solution even more convenient for customers. The measuring instrument specialist BYK-Gardner is currently developing a mobile handheld device specially geared to condition diagnostics. In the future, this innovation will allow the condition of electric motors to be checked literally in the blink of an eye. As a result, these solutions will ensure that electric motors can be used longer and more efficiently, benefitting the wallet as well as the environment. “E-mobility is one of the focal points of our research and development work, because its expansion is a strategic goal across all the divisions,” explains Dr. Rost. “This involves maintenance aspects, but also battery management, heat dissipation, as well as control and charging technology. We are in continuous dialog with our customers and partners in the industry, and we receive important impetus from them time and time again.”

Sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in the development of new products and solutions and is a subject close to Dr. Simon Rost’s heart.  |  Electromobility is a focal point of the research and development work of Dr. Rost and his team. With their intelligent innovation, electric motors can be used longer and more efficiently.

From motor maintenance to decentralized energy storage systems
ELANTAS has been committed to sustainability for over 15 years, and this aspect is playing an increasingly important role in the development of new products and solutions. Sustainability is now at the forefront of more than 70 percent of all R&D projects. “We want to leave our footprint in innovations, not emissions,” says Dr. Rost, who has been with the company for 16 years and lives with his family near Hamburg. He took over R&D at ELANTAS Europe six years ago. Sustainability is a subject that is close to his heart – in his private life, too, of course: “My next car will definitely be electric,” says the PhD chemist. But his team’s work to ensure a cleaner future is not limited to e‑motors: “We are active in many areas – for example, in special solutions for next-generation 800-volt batteries and in mini energy storage systems for a decentralized energy supply.”