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BioSolar extends agreement with UCSB for further development of novel polymer cathode; projecting up to 459 Wh/kg and $54/kWh for Li-ion cells

Startup BioSolar, Inc. has signed an agreement to extend the funding of a sponsored research program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), to further develop its “super battery” technology—a novel polymer cathode that leverages fast redox-reaction properties rather than conventional lithium-ion intercalation chemistry to enable rapid charge and discharge.

The lead inventors of the technology are UCSB professor Dr. Alan Heeger, the recipient of a Nobel Prize in 2000 for the discovery and development of conductive polymers, and Dr. David Vonlanthen, a project scientist and expert in energy storage at UCSB. Both are scientific advisors to BioSolar.

In a 2014 paper publishedin the journal Advanced Materials, Heeger, Vonlanthen and their colleagues reported the development of a polyaniline-supercapacitor with quinone electrolytes that remained stable over 50,000 galvanostatic charge-discharge cycles.

The work showed that highly stable polymer-supercapacitors can be engineered by combining electrochemically active polymers and redox-active electrolytes with concerted electrochemical properties.

BioSolar’s research program with UCSB started in July 2014 with a focus on low-cost and high performance materials and structures for supercapacitors and batteries. Based on the technical developments from the 2014 program, the BioSolar focused its efforts on developing what it calls a “super battery” technology.

Based on the company’s internal analysis, a battery built using its technology (BioSolar cathode/graphite anode) could deliver a capacity of 459 Wh/kg at a price of $54/kWh—e.g., doubling the range of a Tesla, and costing four times less.

Cathode Anode Wh/kg $/kWh Rate Features
Tesla/NCA Graphite 225 $200 1 hour (1C) High energy
BioSolar Graphite 459 $54 1 hour (1 C) High energy, low cost
BioSolar Graphite 358 $85 12 mins (5 C) High energy, low cost, rapid charge
LiFePO4 LTO 72 $403 1 hour (1C) Thermal safety
BioSolar LTO 115 $171 <12 min (>5C) Thermal safety, low cost, rapid charge
Calculations based on BioSolar internal experimental data, other published data, and a calculation model adopted from the Energy Laboratory of Samsung Electronics.

This extension funds the research program for another 12 months until June 2016.

The BioSolar cathode can be processed from water and eco-friendly solvents, which (i) eliminates the use of costly and toxic solvents, (ii) eliminates high temperature drying processes, and (iii) speeds up the production throughput.

Further, the stable redox chemistry of the cathode material can enable much longer life. BioSolar said that since laboratory experiments have shown that the cathode can easily cycle more than 50,000 times without degradation in supercapacitors, it believed that cathode can offer very long life in batteries as well.

BioSolar recently jointly filed a patent application with UCSB to protect intellectual property rights which forms the basis for the company’s technology.


  • Vonlanthen, D., Lazarev, P., See, K. A., Wudl, F. and Heeger, A. J. (2014) “A Stable Polyaniline-Benzoquinone-Hydroquinone Supercapacitor,” Adv. Mater., 26: 5095–5100. doi: 10.1002/adma.201400966



You would think that if they are able to report the the specific energy density at 459 as opposed to about 450 and the cost at 54 instead of about 60, they'd be able to build the batteries and investors would be climbing all over each other to get in on the action and they wouldn't have to rely on research funding.


If this becomes reality, a 2-4-5 battery could be mass produced by 2020 or so.

Mass produced affordable extended range (500+ miles) BEVs would not be far behind?

This could be what the general public has been waiting for and could spell the accelerated end of most ICEVs, PHEVs and HEVs.

FCEVs would have a difficult time to compete?


Some of us who have been around here since 2009 or so and have been disappointed before are starting to feel as though we might as well be walking around with placards around our necks, saying:

'The battery is Nigh!
Prepare to get thine really Big Charge!'


I like it! Too bad, you are so right; I've been driving a limited mileage Leaf for four years expecting Nissan to move off the dime...hasn't happened...just vapor so far.


Wonderful numbers, but I'm with Davemart on this one - we can't take another EESTOR or ENVIA!


If this is real, it is needed as soon as possible to fix the global warming problem!



Now that sh*t was funny!!!! I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that one!



The capacity difference between BEVs and PHEVs can be calculated thus:

Should regional utility grids be built to manage
100 Tesla 'S' coupe recharge or 1500 PHEV utility EVs matched to smaller PV arrays, most effectively providing backup emergency power, portable.

Conclusion: PHEVs affect TOD urban/suburban along light rail and connected bus transit systems, in most every state very effective, Seattle the one exception that best expresses dullard opportunism.
Seattle is dullsville.



I hope you had your incontinence pants tightly on then, if you thought it that funny! :-)

Anthony F

This sounds too good to be true.

You know the rest.


Please can we have comprehensive published cell test results instead of the hype based on ‘company’s internal analysis’.

Bob Wallace

It is a long, long way from the lab to the market. If this battery can make the jump then it would be a very significant game changer.

But we can get off oil with the battery technology we have in hand. Tesla is going to force down battery prices and make adequate ranged EVs affordable.


Hope you are right BW but improved batteries would really help to reduce total weight & cost and increase range. Something like 5-5-5 batteries would do it.

Bob Wallace

The job right now is to get battery prices down for the technology we have. Tesla appears to have a battery pack that competes head on with $2.80/gallon gas. The Gigafactory is expected to make Panasonic/Tesla packs competitive with $2.10/gallon gas. Other battery manufacturers are playing catchup but should be no more than two years behind.

Any improvement in capacity would certainly be appreciated, but it's not necessary.

What we need is more players other than Tesla driving the cost of other cells and packs down. And we need a rapid charge system parallel to Tesla's if other manufacturers don't want to use the Tesla Superchargers.

I'm less excited about the GM Bolt than I was. They claim they will market a 200 mile EV, but they've announced no reasonable way to drive that car long distances. Where's the charger system?

They also haven't announced what that 200 miles is based on. Is it an EPA range or a "perfect conditions" range?

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