ORNL Exclusively Licenses Lithium Sulfur Battery Technology To Solid Power

2 years ago by Mark Kane 4

ORNL’s Nancy Dudney (center) and former lab researchers Jane Howe and Chengdu Liang were among the developers of lithium-sulfur materials that have been licensed to Solid Power for use in next-generation batteries.

ORNL’s Nancy Dudney (center) and former lab researchers Jane Howe and Chengdu Liang were among the developers of lithium-sulfur materials that have been licensed to Solid Power for use in next-generation batteries.

ORNL

ORNL

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced an exclusive agreement licensing of lithium-sulfur materials for next-generation batteries to Solid Power Inc. of Louisville, Colorado.

Promising lithium-sulfur technology in theory could lead to a commercial product from Solid Power, with much higher energy density than current lithium-ion batteries.

For now, Solid Power is developing prototypes:

“The mission of Solid Power is to develop next-generation energy storage devices for the rechargeable battery market, which is dominated by lithium-ion technologies. The current annual rechargeable battery market is estimated at $12 billion and is anticipated to grow to $20 billion by 2020 to meet demands in consumer electronics, electric vehicles and military, aerospace and industrial applications.

The ORNL technology will aid Solid Power in the development of solid-state rechargeable batteries that can provide two to three times the energy of conventional lithium ion technologies. Because all-solid batteries lack any volatile or flammable liquid components, they hold potential to save costs by eliminating many of the expensive safety features typically associated with lithium-ion systems.

Solid Power plans to bring the technology to market using a simple battery cell architecture that leverages industry standard manufacturing processes. The company recently constructed a 700-square-foot dry room facility with roll-to-roll processing capabilities that will translate to production scale. This capacity will allow the first large-scale prototypes to begin production before year’s end and to continue in 2016.”

Douglas Campbell, president and CEO of Solid Power said:

“We’re thrilled to add the technology developed at ORNL to Solid Power’s portfolio of novel materials and processes built around manufacturing a better battery. The intellectual property ORNL has perfected better positions Solid Power to successfully achieve its mission.”

Source: ORNL via Green Car Congress

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4 responses to "ORNL Exclusively Licenses Lithium Sulfur Battery Technology To Solid Power"

  1. Someone out there says:

    Great! I hope they succeed, a 3 times more energy dense battery would change everything. Assuming the manufacturing cost isn’t significantly higher than the current technology once the production scales up, 3 times the density means you could increase the battery by 50% and have it be half as big, half as heavy and half as expensive and get an excellent range.

    1. Ambulator says:

      First off, two to three times better than current batteries is nearly meaningless, since we don’t know how they are defining “current”. Secondly, sodium sulfur batteries are much less dense than lithium ion batteries, so you aren’t going to get “half as big” and “half as heavy” at the same time. Most likely they are looking at specific energy, but they aren’t saying.

      There’s a lot of upside potential in lithium sulfur, plus the raw materials are cheaper. We only have their word on what they’ve achieved, and they aren’t saying much.

  2. fireofenergy says:

    If it ain’t 95% efficient, then there might be trouble, as ordinary LiFePO4 (lithium iron) is already that efficient (and has a 2,000 charge life cycle). However, solid state IS the future of batteries!
    Some batteries are only 70% efficient, meaning that twice as many renewable energy generating systems would need to be installed per unit of (stored) energy received. This is because more energy would be needed just for the manufacture of more (and less efficient) storage, and for the extra RE systems themselves.

    1. fireofenergy says:

      I checked about sodium batteries and they seem to have a round trip at 90%, so this looks promising. Also, it might be possible for solid state to require less energy during manufacture…?