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Avestor Shuts Down

2 November 2006

Avestorbattery
The Avestor battery.

Avestor, the Canadian developer of Lithium-Metal-Polymer (LMP) battery technology, is shutting down. The company filed with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy in Montréal with a view to making a Proposal to its creditors on 31 October.

In August, the company had produced and shipped its 20,000th battery. At that time, Avestor said it had signed multimillion dollar, multiyear contracts with major telecommunications service providers in North America and also was a provider to several other telecommunications customers in North America.

Considerable sums were invested in developing a battery that could be marketed profitably to the telecommunications industry; nevertheless, the enterprise was not able to reach the break-even point. Despite more than a year of active searching, Avestor failed to attract new industrial and financial partners to replace its current investors. Consequently, it is no longer able to continue operations.

—Company statement

AVESTOR was a privately-owned equal partnership of Hydro-Québec and Kerr-McGee and was exclusively dedicated to the development, manufacturing and commercialization of energy-storage solutions based on its exclusive Lithium-Metal-Polymer technology.

Lmp1
LMP Technology Electrochemical System. Click to enlarge.

The Lithium-Metal-Polymer cell is a laminate of four thin materials:

  • A metallic lithium foil anode. The ultra-thin lithium foil acts as both a lithium source and a current collector.

  • A solid polymeric electrolyte. This lithium ion carrier is obtained by dissolving a lithium salt in a solvating co-polymer.

  • A metallic oxide cathode based on a reversible intercalation compound of vanadium oxide, blended with lithium salt and polymer to form a plastic composite.

  • An aluminum foil current collector.

The solid, dry, lithium-ion conducting polymer membrane special polymer serves both as the electrolyte and as the separator between the anode and cathode foils. The membrane is a solid, rubber type polymer matrix with an ionic lithium salt complexed into the matrix. The elastic behaviour of the polymer assures a perfect interface to the surfaces of the two. The result is a totally solid state electro-chemical cell, having neither liquid nor gel components.

(A hat-tip to Gerald!)

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November 2, 2006 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Now that's a shame.

The real question is who will be snapping up a hot deal on some good IP and manufacturing tech and make it a useable business?

A pity they are shutting down. I guess Anadarko Petroleum Corp did not want to keep this alive.
_This served the emergency power backup market for telecoms, and special/emergency power needs for industrial purposes and utilities.

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation bought out Kerr-McGee Aug 10, 2006.

I think Hydro-Quebec had invested in Avestor to produce
a battery for electric cars and the product turned out to be unsuitable for electric cars due to low discharge rate and high cost, so they decided to stop loosing money in something that will not make them sell more electricity...

Avestor may still survive as a smaller and leaner company if thay can reorganise and come out of bankrupcy protection.

Can complex and other batteries (and smaller cars etc) be economically mass produced in USA/Canada? It is doubtful unless most of the parts are made where labor is much cheaper or by robots.

For example, with all the wood we have, we can't even compete with pre-finished wood flooring and wood furniture from China.

We can supply the raw materials but not the finished products because of our high labor cost and low productivity.

We need 10+ million (10x in USA) maintenance free, low cost, durable robots to multiply productivity but we can't make them fast enough. The impact on employment, workers and uninons may not be acceptable unless we produce our own goods again and reduce imports. This is not the current trend.

Hyundai opened a mostly automated car plant in the Alabama. Non union plants are proliferating throughout the South.
___Robots, and many of their basic their patents, were usurped by Japanese companies through various practices. Cold War geopolitics prevented effective US legal/economic response. Thus many US firms, early pioneers in automation and robotics, had their positions slowly eroded by Japanese corporations. US manufacturers/developers do exist, but the dominant ones in industrial automation are Japanese. It is much harder to take the lead back from them, and thus many concentrate on robots that are used in biotech, nanotech, or other high tech-high value sectors.

Harvey D,
I generally agree with your points. However, having developing nations pick up low end manufactured goods, is sort of economic aid/development. We invest in them, and hope that they grow and prosper, peacefully. Companies from the developed world also want a foothold, to grow upon. It does not always work out.

There is a time for everything.
Sometimes it is time for a cleansing.
This technology is not going to die, anymore than the internet did while many dot coms failed. Ford and GM may have to suffer a cleansing also.

This is not really surprising given the very negative safety implications of Lithium metal containing batteries. The continual recalls of laptop batteries - and they are LiIon, not Li metal - will not have helped.

Avestor pulled out of the EV market last year - it must have become overwhelmingly obvious that Li metal was never going to become acceptable in a large format EV battery (even a small 5kWh PHEV battery. Perhaps LiS will be acceptable due to the immediate sulphide passivation - but that's still some way off.

Batscap Bollore are using the same technology as Avestor in their Blue Car demonstrator - Li metal polymer with a vanadium oxide cathode. This is not sensible.

Does this mean that HQ is giving up on it's patent claims against Valence and A123?

Avestor said it went bankrupt becose some of their products caught fire... and it is FALSE.

The goal is to protect the USA by stealing our designs. The americans want to pollute. The USA is a weapon of mass destruction for any life form on earth.

I wish the US public opinion wakes up... do you know that your federal income tax is illegual ? If you don't have a hearth I guess money will make you move :)

The recent failure of these cells is associated with several technical issues.

The major technical issue with these cells may well be associated with the pure lithium anodes used, which inherently present a safety issue. Almost all consumer lithium batteries hold the lithium in graphite, which is inherently safer. In addition, Avestor uses the toxic vanadium oxide.

The lithium anodes also probably reduce the lifetime of the batteries, which make them uneconomic for electric vehicles.

I work for a large telecomunications firm and our company recently finished removing all the Avestor Batteries from our sites. The reason? Simply put they have a tendancy in certain conditions to blow up!

Hey, NORM, don't know where you got your info from but, an avestor cell has never exploded nor detonated... Yes a few have caught fire, but it's a new technology. Hell, every other company gets to make recalls, Ford's been doing it for over a hundred years... The only reason the green jet discontinued this product line was that there was noone to sue if the product failed...
Oh yeah, I was one of the few to install these things and they're great! Forty pounds for eighty amp/hours...
try hauling 24 Exide GU-45's up a flight of stairs...

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