CalBattery licenses Argonne silicon-graphene material for high-energy Li-ion batteries; targeting commercial availability in 2014
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and California Lithium Battery, Inc. (CalBattery) have signed a licensing agreement for an Argonne-developed, silicon-graphene composite anode material for high-energy lithium batteries. CalBattery says it plans to move forward rapidly in the commercial scale-up and production of the novel composite anode material and to offer it in commercial production in the US by 2014.
CalBattery had earlier entered into a Work for Others (WFO) program with ANL to commercialize an advanced Li-ion battery combining ANL’s Si-graphene anode materials with other advanced battery materials into a Very Large Format (400+ Ah) prismatic cell targeting grid-scale storage and EV applications. CalBattery had an option for exclusive and non-exclusive rights to the ANL Si-graphene process. (Earlier post.)
In October 2012, CalBattery reported that independent test results in full cell Li-ion batteries (LIBs) showed that its silicon-graphene composite anode materials, used with advanced cathode and electrolyte materials, showed an energy density of 525 Wh/kg and specific anode capacity of 1,250 mAh/g. (Earlier post.)
The independent full cell tests cited by the company suggested increases in energy density by around 3 times and specific anode capacity by around 4 times over existing LIBs. Current commercial LIBs have an energy density of between 100-180 Wh/kg and a specific anode capacity of 325 mAh/g.
Argonne’s technology entails the use of an advanced gas phase deposition method that embeds nanoscale silicon particles into the graphene layers. This approach overcomes the traditional problems associated with high-energy density anodes, such as massive volume expansion, high first cycle inefficiency and severe capacity fade.
The use of the Argonne silicon graphene process stabilizes the use of silicon in the lithium battery anode. Although silicon absorbs lithium ten times better than any other anode materials it rapidly deteriorates during charge/discharge cycles.
CalBattery, a joint venture between California-based CALiB Power and Ionex Energy Storage Systems, is a portfolio start-up company headquartered at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), which was started by The City of LA and the LA Department of Water and Power in 2011.