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.

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