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PROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY (electrochemical processes or apparatus in general C25; semiconductor or other solid state devices for converting light or heat into electrical energy H01L, e.g. H01L 31/00, H01L 35/00, H01L 37/00)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Casing, racks, vents, current conducting connections of primary (non rechargeable) and secondary (rechargeable) batteries

Electrodes for primary and secondary battery

Electrodes for fuel cells

Primary cells, secondary cells, their methods for maintenance and the recycling of serviceable parts of waste cells

Fuel cells, e.g. alkaline fuel cell, polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEMFC), solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC), biochemical fuel cells

Reverse electrodialysis cells

Redox flow batteries

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Electrochemical processes or apparatus otherwise than for generating energy C25

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Electrochemical processes or apparatus otherwise than for generating energy
Semiconductor or other solid state devices for converting light or heat into electrical energy
Special rules of classification within this subclass
  • Every aspect of the invention is classified in the groups and the additional information is classified mandatorily with Indexing Codes.
  • When an Indexing Code represents the invention with no corresponding mirror group, the corresponding upper group should also be given.
  • When the type of battery is not mentioned, the classification of the invention is done in the primary and secondary type of battery classes.
  • When a group for a process does not exist, it is classified within the material of the object.
  • Additional orthogonal indexing codes have been created. They are used for "additional information" and are always given together with a CPC main group or subgroup. Classification with these codes is HIGHLY DESIRABLE, since they provide an efficient search tool when combined with an CPC-class.

They concern:

H01M 2200/00 and subgroups : Safety devices for primary or secondary batteries

H01M 2220/00 and subgroups : Batteries for particular applications

H01M 2250/00 and subgroups : Fuel cells for particular applications; Specific features of fuel cell system

H01M 2300/00 and subgroups : Electrolytes

Constructional details or processes of manufacture of the non-active parts
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Cases, jackets or wrappings, lids or covers, carrying devices, racks, fixing devices;
  • Vents plugs, mechanical arrangement for the escape of gas
  • Separators, diaphragms, spacing elements;
  • Current conducting connections for cells, terminals, connections for affording protection against corrosion, for preventing undesired use;
  • Arrangements for filling, emptying cases with or of liquid e.g. Electrolytes, moving electrolytes.
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Constructional details or processes of manufacture of the non-active parts of fuel cells
Electrically conductive connectors connecting the battery to the load, electric system
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Electrotherapy, e.g. implantable medical devices
Separation using semi-permeable membrane
Drill tools
Portable power-driven tools
Shaping or joining plastics
Container for storage
Devices for moving or tilting heavy load, load-carrier
Making textile fabrics form fibers
Sealing
Valves
Special rules of classification within this subgroup

Small-sized batteries indicate batteries used in portable devices

Large-sized batteries indicate batteries used in vehicles or standby power.

When the use of a battery can not be deduce, the classification is done in both classes.

H01M 2/02 relates to the first wall around the active parts and H01M 2/10 relates to the second wall around the battery/cell.

When the material of separator is a mixture of fibrous and non-fibrous material, it's classified in the classes of the fibrous material.

Electrodes (electrodes for electrolytic processes C25, { electrodes for hybrid or electric double capacitor H01G 11/22} )
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Electrodes comprising active material for primary, secondary and hybrid cell and electrodes with catalytic activity for fuel cells.

Processes of manufacture of the electrodes, selection of substances as active materials, carriers or collectors, inactive substances as ingredients in the electrode, e.g. binder, conductive material

Relationship between large subject matter areas

The production of active material used in batteries is not classified in H01M but in C01B, C01D, C01F, C01G, C22C, C04B 35/00

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
General process for applying liquids to obtain a coating with specific electrical properties
Processing of sheet metal
Casting of metals
Working metallic powder
Soldering, welding
Layered products
Nano-structures
Carbon
Compounds of alkali metals
Compounds of Be, Mg, Al, Ca, Sr, Ba, Ra, Th or rare earth metals
Compounds of manganese
Compounds of Nickel
Alloys
Shaped ceramic products
Organic macromolecular compounds
Coating metallic material, surface treatment of metallic material, e.g. vacuum evaporation
Electrolytic or electrophoretic processes for the production of compounds or non-metals, electrodes for those process
Carbon filaments
Conductors characterised by the conductive materials
Magnetic materials
Special rules of classification within this subgroup
  • The IPC rule concerning electrode for hybrid cells is applied
  • Classification of electrode versus classification of active material (H01M 4/38-H01M 4/60) should only be given when the invention concern the combination of active material and non-active materials, information given on the different elements constituting the electrode.
  • H01M 4/02 is only employed if the subject to be classified is general and does not concern the subgroups H01M 4/06, H01M 4/13, H01M 4/14, H01M 4/24
  • The process of manufacture of a specific type of battery electrode is classified in H01M 4/16-H01M 4/23 or H01M 4/26-H01M 4/30 or H01M 4/139-H01M 4/1399 and in H01M 4/04-H01M4/04V4 (double classification).
  • H01M 4/02 and H01M 4/04-H01M4/04V4 should not be used for fuel cell electrodes and their manufacture which are classified in H01M 4/86-H01M 4/8896
  • All the steps of the process of the manufacture of an electrode (battery electrode or fuel cell electrode) should be classified if possible.
  • When oxides are added in an electrode and when it' s not sure whether it's an active material or an additive, classes in H01M 4/48-H01M 4/57, H01M 4/62 and H01M 4/362 should be given
  • H01M 4/366 is used for any coating (the coating being a second active material or not). In the case the coating is not a second active material, H01M 4/62 subgroup should be given.
  • H01M 4/364 is only used for mixture of at least 2 active materials.
  • Classification of alloys under H01M 4/38 relate to the composition before charging, e.g. before the addition of lithium.
  • Electroactive polmyers classified in H01M 4/137 concern polymers where oxidation/reduction (redox) processes take place
  • Electrode composed of Lithium or lithium based alloy is classified in H01M 4/134
  • H01M 4/18 relates to Planté electrode process. It concerns lead dioxide generated by direct oxydation of lead that forms the conducting substrate.
  • Alkaline earth metals oxides or hydroxides, oxides or hydroxides of metal other than manganese, nickel, iron, cobalt, silver, lead, mercury are classified in H01M 4/48 and if they insert or intercalate light metals, they are classified in H01M 4/485.
Inert electrodes with catalytic activity, e.g. for fuel cells
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Electrodes for fuel cells, comprising catalysts

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Catalysts
Process for preparing catalyst
Special rules of classification within this subgroup

Catalysts supported on carbon are not classified in H01M 4/96 but in H01M 4/9083 or H01M 4/926.

H01M 4/96 is only given if carbon is the catalytic species, e.g. for hybrid cells.

H01M 4/8647-H01M 4/8657 concern composite material, meaning comprising at least 2 catalysts having the same function and H01M 4/8615 concerns bifunctional electrode used in regenerative fuel cell with oxygen reduction catalyst and oxygen evolution reaction catalyst.

All the steps of the process of the manufacture of a fuel cell electrode

should be classified if possible within subgroups H01M 4/88-H01M 4/8896

The process for making electrocatalyst are classified within the catalyst material subgroups H01M 4/90-H01M 4/923. Catalysts used only in fuel cells are not classified in B01J.

Primary cells; Manufacture thereof
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:
  • Primary batteries with aqueous electrolyte, non-aqueous electrolyte and solid electrolyte.
  • primary batteries activated by addition of electrolyte, by physical means (thermal and mechanical)
  • thin film or flat or printed primary batteries
  • Methods or arrangements for maintenance of primary batteries including heating or cooling, primary batteries combined with cell condition or safety devices, regeneration of reactants or electrolyte, type recognition
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Thermoelectric solid state devices
Special rules of classification within this subgroup

Classification for primary and secondary non aqueous batteries:

Solid polymer electrolyte of a battery is not classified in H01M 8/1018 unless the use in a fuel cell is mentioned.

Printed battery in H01M 6/40 concern thin film battery.

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Primary cells
Electrochemical generators in which the cell energy is present in chemical form and is not regenerated
Fuel cells; Manufacture thereof
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Fuel cells including:

  • Collectors, separators, interconnectors, gas diffusion layer.
  • Sealing or frames, its processes and materials.
  • Membranes, matrices holding electrolytes solutions or melts.
  • Means for temperature measurement or control, for reactant control or regulation.
  • Methods for controlling fuel cells or fuel cell systems with detection and regulation of variables.
  • System of fuel cells with means for production of reactants or for treatment of residues.
  • Types of fuel cell : with aqueous electrolytes, with solid electrolyte at low temperature (below 200-250°C), with solid electrolyte at high temperature. with molten electrolyte, biofuelcells with enzymes working as catalysts.
  • Manufacture of fuel cells.
Relationship between large subject matter areas

Hydrogen production is classified in C01B 3/00

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Separation of gases or vapour
Semi-permable membranes
Recycling of heat from fuel cell to other parts of a car
Fuel cells used to drive air conditioning
Prime movers consisting of electric motors and internal combustion engines characterised by the fuel cells
Vehicles using power supplied from primary cells, secondary cells pr fuel cells
Arrangement or adaptations of fuel cells in cosmonautic vehicles
Manufacture of ion-exchange membrane
Production of combustibles gases containing carbon monoxide from solid carbonaceous fuels
Liquid carbonaceous fuels
Micro-organisms or enzymes
Enzyme electrodes in measuring or testing process
Vessels for containing or storing compressed, liquefied or solidified gases
Burners for combustion of a gas
Gas-turbine combustion chambers
Special rules of classification within this group
  • Membranes for immobilising electrolyte solutions or electrolyte melts are classified in H01M 8/0289-H01M 8/0295 and membranes used as support or mixed with polymer electrolytes are classified in H01M 8/1058-H01M 8/1062.
  • Means for control of temperature, pressure, reactant, electrolyte, water are classified in subgroups H01M 8/04007-H01M 8/04291 and methods for controlling fuel cells or fuel cell systems are classified in H01M 8/04298-H01M 8/04992.
  • Reactant in a fuel cell is only what is delivery immediately to the fuel cell, e.g. liquid methanol is evaporated to gaseous methanol that is used then in a fuel cell, only H01M 8/04089 will be used.
  • Means for preventing methanol crossover (gaseous or liquid methanol) are classified in H01M 8/04261
  • H01M 8/04119 concerns the humidification in the fuel cell
  • H01M 8/04291 is used for water management of the fuel cell system.
  • Rules for H01M 8/04298
  • When the claims refer to control and/or process/management of the fuel cell, then classes in H01M 8/04298+ should be given and it's the description + claims (if they are clear) that are classified. Every variable really disclosed/discussed and not just listed as part of a whole list should be classified using classes.
  • If only general details is given in the detected and/or regulated variables, then the upper classes H01M 8/04313 and/or H01M 8/04694 should be given.
  • When control/management is detailed only in the description, then Indexing Codes should be used for the classification
  • When the control of a fuel cell concerns the detection/measurement of environmental variables 8e.g. temperature, pressure, humidity of the ambiance), the classes H01M 8/0432 should be given if it concerns the detection of ambient temperature or H01M 8/0438 if it concerns ambient pressure, etc..
  • In a system with means for production of reactants or treatment of reactants or residues, if the fuel cell aspect is not the invention (only mentioned in the description or the last (sub)claim, the document should only be classified with an Indexing Code H01M 8/00.
  • If the fuel cell in combination with the other means is the invention, then the subgroups under H01M 8/06 are used.
  • H01M 8/188 and H01M 8/20 should be both allocated for redox flow battery
  • H01M 8/24 subgroups are used when the invention concern the stack of fuel cells as such
  • The Indexing Codes H01M 8/083, H01M 8/086, H01M 2008/1095, H01M 2008/1293, H01M 2008/147 should be used to indicate the type of fuel cell
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Porous separator
gas diffusion layer
Separator
bipolar plate, interconnector
Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Construction in general.

Several types of secondary batteries : lithium batteries, lead acid batteries, alkaline batteries, high temperature batteries.

Methods or arrangements for servicing or maintenance.

Cooling, heating, regulating temperature.

Recycling.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Circuits for charging or depolarising or for supplying loads from batteries are classified in H02J 7/00-H02J 7/36 and the methods for charging or discharging are classified in H01M 10/44-H01M 10/445.

Measuring electric variables are classified in G01R 31/36 if the measurement device is not structurally combined with the battery

Air conditioner of a car classified in B60H is also classified under H01M 10/50-H01M 10/5097 if it's used for cooling/heating a battery.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Heating, cooling or ventilation devices in vehicles
Arrangement of electric storage means for propulsion
Prime movers consisting if electric motors and internal combustion engines
Vehicles using power form primary cells, secondary cells or fuel cells
Arrangement of batteries in a vehicle
Supplying batteries to, or removing batteries from vehicles
Specific uses or applications of nano-structures
Electrochemical actuator
Heat exchange or heat transfer apparatus
Control of temperature in general
Indicating or measuring liquid in general
Arrangement for obtaining electrical energy form radioactive source
Investigating fluid tightness of structure
Measuring density
Investigating or analysing materials by the use of electric, electrochemical or magnetic means
Semi-conductors devices
Generators in which kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy
Portable receivers and arrangement for mounting batteries or batteries chargers
Portable phone with battery compartment
Printed circuits
Special rules of classification within this subgroup
  • Small-sized batteries indicate batteries used in portable devices
  • Large-sized batteries indicate batteries used in vehicles or standby power.
  • Construction classes under H01M 10/12, H01M 10/28, H01M 10/058, H01M 10/38 take precedence over H01M 10/04.
  • For non aqueous secondary battery, a class indicating the type of battery, e.g. H01M 10/052 should always be given in addition to the classes related to construction H01M 10/058-H01M 10/0587 or to the classes related to the type of electrolyte H01M 10/056-H01M10/0659.
  • Solid polymer electrolyte of a battery is not classified in H01M 8/1018-H01M 8/1093 unless the use of this polymer in a fuel cell is indicated.
  • Special rules for the subgroups H01M 10/42-H01M 10/488
  • Additives in electrolyte having the function of safety are classified in H01M 10/0567 for example and also in H01M 10/4235. Fusing, polymerising additives are also classified in H01M 10/4235.
  • Structurally combination indicates attached to the battery or in the battery housing.
  • Printed circuits integrated to the outside of the casing of the battery, e.g. on the cover) are classified in H01M 10/425
  • H01M 10/4257 concern battery with incorporated memory, microchip, electronic circuit inside the housing of the cells or batteries.
  • The use of printed circuit as a casing of a battery is classified in H01M 2/10.
  • Apparatus for testing the cell or battery and not incorporated with the battery is classified in H01M 10/4285
  • The regeneration of electrolyte or reactants done by non electrical means is classified in H01M 10/4242
  • Any ratio between electrode/electrolyte, anode/cathode of a secondary battery is classified in H01M 2010/4292
  • Removing gas inside the battery by water recombination is classified in H01M 10/52.
  • Gel electrolytes are double classified in H01M 10/0565 if they concern gel-type polymeric material for non-aqueous accumulator and H01M 2300/0085
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Accumulator
secondary battery
Secondary cells
Accumulators receiving and supplying electrical energy by means of reversible electrochemical reactions
Hybrid cells; Manufacture thereof
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

hybrid cells, e.g. :

  • half cell of capacitor type and half-cell of primary or secondary battery type
  • half cell of fuel cell type and half cell of primary or secondary cell type
Relationship between large subject matter areas

Hybrid capacitors are classified in H01G 9/155

Special rules of classification within this group
  • If the invention concern electrodes, classes of fuel cell electrodes (H01M 4/86-H01M 4/98) and/or battery electrodes (H01M 4/02-H01M 4/84) are given in combination with the Indexing Code of the hybrid cells.
  • The casing and the lid of the hybrid cells are classified in H01M 2/0255 and H01M 2/0452 respectively.
  • Methods or arrangements for servicing or maintenance are classified in H01M 6/50 or H01M 10/42 according to the type of half battery cell. The control of half fuel cell type is classified under H01M 8/04298-H01M 8/04992.
  • All hybrid cell concerning half capacitor, half battery should be circulated to H01G.
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Hybrid cells
Electrochemical generators having two different types of half-cells, the half-cell being an electrode-electrolyte combination of either a primary, a secondary, or a fuel cell
Electrochemical current or voltage generators not provided for in groups H01M 6/00 - H01M 12/00; Manufacture thereof
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Every type of electrochemical cell that is not classified in the above groups.

Photoelectrochemical storage cells wherein the light causes a change in chemistry and the energy is stored and discharged at later stage.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Solar cells are classified in H01G 9/20 and only if the energy produced by the solar cell is stored then it will be also classified in H01M 14/005.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Light sensitive devices (photocells)
Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents the following expressions/words "photocells", "photoelectrochemical cells (PEC)", "photovoltaic cells" and "solar cells" are often used as synonyms.

Structural combinations of different types of electrochemical generators
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Association of fuel cells with other electrochemical generators, e.g. fuel cell + electrolysers, fuel cell+ battery, fuel cell + capacitor

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Combination of secondary battery with capacitor
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Last Modified: 10/11/2013