ReVolt Technology, LLC, a spin-off from Norway’s SINTEF that is developing rechargeable zinc-air batteries (earlier post), is applying for $30 million in grants from US Department of Energy (DOE) under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to accelerate the commercialization of large format zinc-air batteries for energy storage and electric vehicle applications.
ReVolt’s initial plans called for addressing the mobile consumer electronics market first. Revolt’s zinc-air technology offers up to three times the energy density on a volumetric basis and twice on a gravimetric basis of lithium-ion, according to the company.
ReVolt, based in Stäfa, Switzerland, has selected Portland, Oregon as the location for its US headquarters and manufacturing center. By locating in Oregon, the company will be eligible, and intends to apply for, Business Energy Tax Credits from the Oregon Department of Energy for battery research and production. Securing government grants and tax credits will allow ReVolt to significantly accelerate its operations in Portland and US expansion, the company says.
In July, ReVolt and BASF entered a joint-development agreement to speed the development and commercialization of ReVolt’s rechargeable zinc-air battery system. (Earlier post.) Under that agreement, BASF will use its expertise in material science as well as electrochemistry to further advance the technology. BASF will supply key component materials and jointly developed subsystem elements necessary for the continued development and commercialization of ReVolt’s rechargeable zinc-air batteries.
In January 2009, RWE Innogy, the renewable power generation arm of Germany-based RWE Group, invested €5.5 million in ReVolt. The RWE investment was part of a €10 million Series B round that included current investors NorthZone Ventures (Sweden), SINTEF (Norway), Sofinnova Partners (France), TVM Capital (Germany), Verdane Capital (Norway) and Viking Venture (Norway).
ReVolt’s battery technology is a result of six years of research and development at SINTEF (the largest independent research institute in Scandinavia). Research on material combinations has addressed issues historically related to the metal-air technology: power, lifetime and rechargeability.
ReVolt’s technology developments include placement of the zinc (microscopic localization) on the anode; humidity management in the cell; and a bi-functional air-electrode. In a bi-functional air electrode, both the oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions occur.