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SES begins pilot production of solvent-in-salt electrolyte for hybrid Li-metal batteries

SES Holdings Pte. Ltd. (SES), a developer of high-performance hybrid lithium-metal rechargeable (Li-Metal) batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and other applications (earlier post), has established the first pilot production line capable of scaling up high-concentration, solvent-in-salt electrolyte production.


High-concentration solvent-in-salt electrolyte reactor

SES has addressed the dendrite safety problem associated with Li-metal batteries by coating lithium metal with a polymer coating and using a high-concentration electrolyte that suppresses the formation of dendrites. SES’ strategy is to dominate in the lithium metal battery market by first commercializing a hybrid method that combines a liquid electrolyte and a solid coating, which is easier to implement than an all-solid solution.

The pilot production line is capable of synthesizing SES’s proprietary solvent and manufacturing a high-concentration solvent-in-salt electrolyte formulation designed specifically for SES’s hybrid Li-Metal batteries for automotive use.

The facility is currently capable of producing 5 tons of electrolyte per year, with additional production capacity expansion of up to 250 tons of electrolyte per year to meet future hybrid Li-Metal battery demand.

Unlike all-solid-state batteries, SES’s battery technology features high-concentration solvent-in-salt electrolytes with proprietary solvent molecules that have low volatility and are self-extinguishing. SES’s unique electrolyte formulation is stable with Li-Metal and enables hybrid Li-Metal batteries that have high energy density over a wide range of temperature and power requirements, and enhanced cycle life and safety.

This pilot production capability at our Shanghai facility will ensure that SES will be prepared to meet electrolyte supply needs for our hybrid Li-Metal batteries. Our electrolyte pilot production capability is a key enabler for SES’s development of automotive-sized hybrid Li-Metal batteries that will power the next generation of electric vehicles.

—Qichao Hu, Founder & CEO, SES

Earlier in 2021, SES announced the signing of “A-sample” joint development agreements with General Motors and Hyundai Motor Company. (Earlier post.) These agreements are a sign of confidence in SES’ hybrid Li-Metal technology as SES is the only company working on Li-Metal technology that has entered into A-sample joint development agreements for Li-Metal technology with major OEMs. The pilot production of electrolyte will help SES accelerate its automotive battery cell development for current and future automotive partners.

Coupled with proprietary AI monitoring software that continually monitors and maintains battery safety, these intelligent batteries are designed to meet the demands of automotive manufacturers looking to introduce energy-dense batteries in long-range EVs.

SES is a next-generation battery technology company spun-off from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Headquartered in Singapore, SES currently operates two battery prototyping facilities in the United States and China.


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