In the US, a California-based energy firm has been awarded a $1 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the US Department of Energy (DoE) to help commercialise its lithium-ion battery innovation.

Lithium-ion innovation

Saratoga Energy, whose breakthrough process for synthesising graphite from carbon dioxide could revolutionise lithium-ion battery production, the firm said in a statement.

The firm’s CEO, Drew Reid, explained:  “Graphite is an essential material in advanced lithium-ion batteries.

“Our process produces graphite more sustainably and affordably than traditional graphite, which is usually sourced from poorly-regulated mines in China or synthesised from petroleum.”

Performance advantages

In addition to offering sustainable sourcing and cost benefits, the graphite also has performance advantages.

The firm explained: “Graphite made with its patented process can charge and discharge more quickly, making it ideal for electric vehicle customers.”

According to Reid, “people can spend less time plugged in and more time driving, which helps EVs be more competitive with gas vehicles.”

The composite, which is synthesised from carbon dioxide, has a negligible carbon footprint, making it an attractive low carbon and sustainable option.

Innovation award

The DoE SBIR programme is designed to advance clean energy technologies that show good potential for commercial success and job creation, and businesses across the country compete for the grants.

“To get a Phase II grant, you have to show a clear and logical path toward commercialisation. We have a few more steps to go before commercialisation, and this grant will help get us there,” Reid said.

The SBIR Phase II grant will help Saratoga establish a pilot production facility, ramp up production, and optimise processes.

It will also go toward demonstrating fast-charging capability in large-format lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Read more…

 

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