NanoGraf, an advanced battery material company (earlier post), has enabled what it says is the highest energy density 18650 cylindrical lithium-ion cell in the world—one that provides a 28% longer run time than traditional cell chemistries.
Aided by funding from the US Department of Defense and others, NanoGraf’s team unveiled an 800 Wh/L silicon-anode based cell that provides benefits for virtually any application—from consumer electronics to electric vehicle batteries to the batteries that power the equipment soldiers use during operations.
NanoGraf’s technology utilizes a proprietary doped silicon alloy material architecture. The proprietary combination of silicon-based alloys and a protective inorganic and organic coating helps stabilize the active material during charge and discharge. NanoGraf technology was developed, optimized, and patented in collaboration with researchers at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory.
Energy density has plateaued, only increasing eight percent or so over the last decade. We just achieved a 10 percent increase in a little under a year. This is over a decade’s worth of innovation in one technology.—NanoGraf President, Dr. Kurt (Chip) Breitenkamp
One of the biggest opportunities for more energy-dense batteries lies with electric vehicles, where range anxiety is an impediment to mainstream adoption. NanoGraf’s new cell technology could immediately provide a boost to electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Model S, which would last approximately 28% longer on a single charge compared to similar vehicles on the road today.
In addition to commercial applications, the NanoGraf-enabled battery also improves the performance of soldier-carried military electronics and equipment. US soldiers on patrol carry upwards of twenty pounds of lithium-ion batteries, often the second heaviest category of equipment after body armor. NanoGraf’s batteries improve run time on US soldiers’ equipment and can reduce their battery pack weights by more than 15%.
The announcement follows a period of rapid growth for the company. Last year, the US Department of Defense awarded NanoGraf a $1.65-million grant to develop longer-lasting lithium-ion batteries to power US military equipment. In 2019, the US Council for Automotive Research, a consortium of Ford, General Motors and the US FCA, which makes Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT vehicles, provided the company with $7.5 million for electric vehicle battery research and development.