|NOHMs technology portfolio. Source: NOHMs. Click to enlarge.|
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced that start-up lithium-sulfur battery company NOHMs (Nano Organic Hybrid Materials) Technologies Inc. has selected to locate its research, manufacturing and product development facility for military, cell phone and electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries in Lexington.
NOHMs, a spin-off from Cornell University, will utilize the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center and the University of Kentucky’s Spindletop Administration Building.
Founded in October 2010, NOHMs Technologies has developed a battery that is based on lithium-sulfur chemistry. In April 2013, the company was awarded a $500,000 Phase II SBIR Award from the NSF to scale a novel low-cost manufacturing process for long-life sulfur cathode composite materials.
NOHMs was also a recipient of the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership’s Rent Subsidy Program. The program is designed to recruit emerging technological companies and provide a rent subsidy up to $10,000 the first year in Lexington. The program is a available to companies who have received a Small Business Innovation Research matching grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which NOHMs did earlier this year.
Technology. NOHMs is developing electrode, electrolyte, and separator products that are a 3-part solution for high-energy, low-cost, long-life, and safe batteries.
Electrode. NOHMs says its composite sulfur electrodes—carbon nanoparticles infused with sulfur—can deliver a specific capacity of 550 mAh/g for hundreds of cycles. Next-generation cathode materials being developed will exceed 800 mAh/g, according to the company.
Electrolyte. NOHMs is developing a class of novel, non-flammable electrolytes that yield >99.9% Coulombic efficiency (CE) with high ionic conductivity and high thermal stability.
Separator. NOHMs is developing a hybrid materials thin-film separator that provides a ceramic-polymer-liquid barrier to stabilize the lithium anode, increasing lifetime and safety of lithium-sulfur batteries.
NOHMs’ management team includes Nathan Ball, CEO; Dr. Jayaprakaash Navaneedhakrishnan, chief scientist; and Dr. Lynden Archer, founder, technical advisor and William C. Hooey Director of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University.
NOHMs’ uses sulfur-infused carbon composite cathode materials developed at Cornell, as well as an electrolyte chemistry developed there. NOHMs’ highly tunable technology builds a composite micro-porous carbon framework that hosts electro-active nanoparticles.
This carbon framework is (i) flexible to tolerate many charge-discharge cycles; (ii) porous to allow full-access for lithium-ions to active material; (iii) electrically conductive; and (iv) scalable for manufacturing, providing an advantage over other particle-based, coating-based, or substrate-based solutions. NOHMs has successfully tested its materials in battery prototypes.
Battery prototypes using NOHMs materials have demonstrated more than 400 Wh/kg and more than 500 recharges using gram-scale materials synthesis; more than 3 times the energy density of commercially available lithium-ion batteries; and using materials and processes that have the potential to make batteries at 1/3 of the manufactured cost.
(WO2012064702) Sulfur Containing Nanoporous Materials, Nanoparticles, Methods And Applications