Sion Power Corporation has received a three-year research grant worth up to $5 million from the United States Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) (earlier post) for the development of practical, economical and safe lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries for powering electric vehicles. Sion’s award was one of 10 made to advanced battery projects by ARPA-E during this second round of project funding.
Performance targets for this program are to exceed 500 Wh/kg and 500 cycles at commercially viable recharge rates. By 2016, the goal is to produce a cell with 600 Wh/kg and 1,000 cycles. Sion Power believes that by utilizing Li-S technology, a battery pack weighing less than 700 lbs (318 kg) can power a 3,500 lb (1,588 kg) five-passenger vehicle more than 300 miles (483 km).
Li-S chemistry offers the highest energy potential of any two solid elements with more than twice the energy capacity of lithium ion technology at half the weight.
The grant is funding a four-way collaboration coupling Sion Power’s patented materials and process technologies with expertise provided by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the world’s largest chemical company, BASF, to expedite commercial success.
While the energy potential of Li-S is well known, Sion Power has established proprietary and patented materials and methods for protecting the lithium metal anode which differentiates its approach.
In November 2009, Sion Power received a three-year, $800,000 research grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to support ongoing work to develop a new class of electrolytes used in lithium sulfur (Li-S) batteries for electric vehicle (EV) applications. Sion Power is providing matching funds for this three-year effort. (Earlier post.)
In May 2009, Sion Power and BASF SE signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to accelerate the commercialization of Sion Power’s proprietary Li-S battery technology for the electric vehicle (EV) market and other high-energy applications. (Earlier post.)
Sion’s collaboration with BASF is pursuing solutions to electrode and electrolyte issues that affect cell performance, including a proprietary anode design to reduce lithium roughness; development of structurally stable cathodes; and new materials for multi-functional membrane assemblies for the physical protection of lithium.
High Energy Rechargeable Li-S Cells for EV Application. Status, Challenges and Solutions (Sion Power ECS presentation)