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NOHMs raises $5M for commercializing non-flammable, ionic-liquid containing electrolytes for EV batteries

NOHMs Technologies Inc. (NOHMs), a Cornell University spin-out founded in 2010, raised $5 million in Series B venture capital financing to commercialize its non-flammable electric vehicle (EV) battery electrolyte technology. Phoenix Venture Partners II LP (PVP) led the round with Solvay Ventures, New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund (NYSIVCF), and angel investors.

NOHMs Technologies has developed a family of ionic-liquid-containing electrolytes that are stable above 4.5 volts in lithium ion cells. The two electrolyte product lines currently under development for electric vehicle (EV) batteries are:

  • NanoLyte Electrolyte: SF Series. Non-flammable electrolyte to improve EV battery durability. This electrolyte is a drop-in replacement for commercial ionic liquids used in PHEV and EV cells.

  • NanoLyte Electrolyte: HVE Series. High voltage electrolyte for cell charge voltage above 4.35 V to improve EV battery energy density. This electrolyte is compatible with advanced electrodes that charge between 4.45 V and 4.95 V.

NanoLyte Electrolyte contains ionic liquids, which are non-flammable. By engineering the molecular structure, we can create electrolytes that are abuse tolerant without sacrificing the power or battery life.

—Dr. Surya Moganty, CTO at NOHMs and inventor of the technology

In 2015, the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), a collaborative organization of FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors, awarded a $1.64-million contract to NOHMs (Nano Organic Hybrid Materials) Technologies for the development of electrolytes for automotive lithium-ion battery applications. (Earlier post.) The competitively bid contract award is co-funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and includes a 50% cost-share by NOHMs.

The 18-month program is focusing on the development of functional, ionic liquid-based electrolyte and co-solvent combinations that exhibit high ionic conductivity and stability for application in 4.6-5.0-volt lithium-ion batteries.

In that project, NOHMs is collaborating with A123 (cell build and testing) and CoorsTek (ionic liquid synthesis and cost analysis).



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Another startup battery developer to keep an eye on is SolidEnergy System that is expected to launch the first practical lithium metal battery by November this year. I am normally very skeptical of battery inventions but when a company is saying they are only months away from a commercial launch I am paying more attention. Their battery is 400wh/kg or 1200wh/l. This is a world record for any rechargeable battery cell. MIT news has an informative piece on the company.


On Jan. 29, 2016: SolidEnergy raised $12M in Series B financing led by a major US auto company, and syndicated by SAIC (so I guess GM is the major US auto company), Applied Ventures, and all existing investors who participated in Series A. They recently moved from a small office rented at A123 to their own pilot facility in Woburn that will also house initial production for an unspecified drone maker. The business plan is to license the tech to large battery makers for large scale production. Apparently the developed battery cell can be made with few modifications to existing large scale lithium battery factories.

The key innovation is that SolidEnergy seemed to have solved the problem with dendrite development in rechargeable lithium metal batteries that short circuit the cells after a few recharges and make them useless and unsafe. They have done it by making a new hybrid electrolyte that is partly solid and partly liquid.


I am not invested in this venture but I think everybody that is interested in batteries should pay attention to this startup and their tech. It could very well be the next breakthrough for battery tech that will see real world volume production by 2018.


Interesting development. That's what Toyota (and others) has been trying to do for the last 15+ years.

A 400 wh/kg unit could extend range by 2X to 3X for most current BEVs, if affordable and long lasting.

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