Altair Nanotechnologies Partners with Amperex Technology to Accelerate Commercialization of Next-Generation Lithium-Titanate Batteries
Li-ion battery manufacturer Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (Altairnano) has entered a joint development agreement (JDA) with Amperex Technology Ltd. (ATL) to accelerate the commercialization of next-generation high-performance lithium-titanate battery cells. China-based ATL currently produces Lithium-ion polymer batteries under a license agreement with Valence Technology.
Under terms of the agreement, Altairnano and ATL will provide respective technical resources to focus on the engineering, design and testing of the next generation of rechargeable cells.
The principal lithium-ion advance that Altairnano has made is in the optimization of nano-structured lithium titanate spinel oxide (Li4Ti5O12, LTO) electrode materials that replace the graphite electrode materials found in anodes of current Li-ion batteries. So far these have been combined with cathodes from conventional lithium-ion batteries.
The Altairnano systems feature rapid recharging and discharging. With the Altairnano anode, no Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI) barrier is formed around the electrode, making it easier for lithium ions to reach the surface of the electrode. With the nano-structured component, there’s more surface area available to the ions&mash;up to 100 times more surface area than with conventional, graphite electrodes, according to the company.
The nanomaterials facilitate access to the active sites—the small size of the materials reduces the distance from the surface to the sites—all of which helps accelerate recharging and discharging.
The joint development agreement is an integral component of Altairnano’s product roadmap and accelerated commercialization strategy for the company's advanced energy storage solutions. This initiative seeks to improve cell performance by increasing cell energy and power density.
The cells are the core technology supporting Altairnano’s energy storage and battery systems designed for electrical grid stability, renewable energy integration, and transportation applications.
Initial availability of these cells and advanced energy storage systems and batteries featuring the company’s next generation of advanced lithium-titanate cells is anticipated by the end of 2009.
We’re excited to partner with a recognized world leader in advanced cell design and manufacturing. Strategic alignment with ATL strengthens Altairnano’s position to meet growing global market demands for utility-scale energy storage systems and for EV, HEV, and PHEV battery applications.—Dr. Terry Copeland, President and CEO, Altairnano