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Johnson Matthey, Echion, Britishvolt and UCL to develop eLNO cathode, niobium anode demonstrator cells in CASCADE

Johnson Matthey (JM), Echion Technologies, (Echion), Britishvolt (BV) and University College London (UCL) are grant recipients in the latest round (Round 4) of the Faraday Battery Challenge in the UK. (Earlier post.)

Project CASCADE (Cathode and Anode Supply Chain for Advanced DEmonstrator) brings together these four organizations to develop a next-generation, ultra-high power and fast-charging battery materials system for automotive applications using JM’s eLNO cathode technology (earlier post) and Echion’s MNO anode technology.

This follows the successful CORNEA (Commercialization Roadmap for Niobium xEv Anodes) Innovate UK project between Echion and JM, which established the commercial potential and roadmap for this technology system.

Echion is a high-growth company spun-out of Cambridge University in 2017 to commercialize niobium oxide-based materials for anodes. (Earlier post.) Echion has developed a Mixed Niobium Oxide (MNO) anode which enables a unique combination of safe fast charge (down to 6 min for a full charge), high energy and power density, long cycle life and low cost.

In CORNEA, Echion and JM partnered to assess the business case for a joint commercialization of the technology for automotive applications. This included understanding detailed market requirements and matching these with actual and modeled product performance, and building a strategic roadmap to accelerate market entry.

In CASCADE, the technology will be demonstrated in commercial-format battery cells which will also be comprehensively tested by potential customer Britishvolt, who will also conduct a scale-up assessment focusing on considerations for giga-scale production.

Results of these tests, together with extensive characterisation and modeling performed by the UCL Electrochemical Innovation Lab will form the basis of a knowledge package which will be used to facilitate business development and accelerate market entry.

Finally, JM will develop strategies for recycling and understanding of the system’s carbon footprint.

The Faraday Battery Challenge is part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, delivered by Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Project CASCADE kicked off in August 2021 with a duration of 12 months.


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