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Cornell spin-off lithium-sulfur battery company NOHMs to locate in Lexington, KY

Nohms
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.

Resources

Comments

HarveyD

At 1/3 the cost (per kWh?) and 3 times the energy density, this battery could potentially raise e-range for a Tesla Model S from 250+ miles to 750+ miles, for about $15,000 instead of $45,000 for the battery pack?

It may be getting one step closer to the 5-5-5 battery?

yoatmon

This is a great article about "relativity". Why don't the authors get down to brass tacks and state categorically What the energy density, power density, and price of their battery amounts to!

Treehugger

looks like a sound approach, but each components of the battery is an innovation in itself so quite a project to re-invent everything. Ultimately it might yield a superior battery but when ? that is a big question...

Lad

I'm thinking about what this would do for a replacement Leaf battery. I would settle for doubling the 24 kw pack to 48kw. And, If that dropped the weight by 1/3, 200 lbs, that and the cost by a good factor, that could be huge for used Leaf owners.

The problem I see is finding someone who can re-build the batteries with new modules and offer them at a fair price.
I would hate to depend on Nissan for battery support.

Engineer-Poet
Why don't the authors get down to brass tacks and state categorically What the energy density, power density, and price of their battery amounts to!

Because this company does not make batteries, and those figures depend on the choices for the anode, electrolyte, separator and casing.

HarveyD

A 3-3-3 battery would still be a huge improvement over the current 1-1-1 units?

The world may have to wait till 2020 or so for the 5-5-5 units.

Its all relative.

Zhukova

Sion Power does make Li-S batteries. "Over 600 Wh/kg in specific energy and 600 Wh/l in energy density are achievable in the near future."

This has been on their web site for about 18 months. I don't know what they mean by "near future"

Brotherkenny4

Many people do sulfur cathode work. Tell me how they prevent polysulfide dissolution and poisoning of the anode without degrading other cell performance characteristics? I am just saying. Someone will crack the sulfur cathode code and then it is game over for all other energy carriers. It may not be NOHMS that does it though. I am aware of the SION work , and they have a big investment from BASF too, suggesting some validity to their work.

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