Gelion, a spin-out from the University of Sydney, has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Ionblox, a developer of silicon-oxide based fast charging batteries (earlier post), to deliver safe, high-energy density, lower cost lithium silicon sulfur (LiSiS) cells for the global electric vehicle (EV), electrical vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) and drone markets, before progressing to the stationary energy storage market.
Gelion has combined its R&D and IP with the broad IP and know-how it acquired from Johnson Matthey earlier in 2023, and is developing sulfur cathodes to integrate with a variety of anodes including silicon. Gelion has also acquired UK lithium-sulfur innovator OXLiD Ltd, which provided significant cathode improvements, novel IP, and industry renowned team members.
Ionblox is a leading silicon oxide (SiOx) anode developer with multiple performance attributes—fast charging, high energy, high power, and long life at low cost. Ionblox’s investors include Lilium, Applied Ventures, Temasek and Catalus Capital.
Gelion and Ionblox jointly will aim to develop high performance, next-generation LiSiS cells, which have the potential to deliver a number of advantages over traditional lithium-ion batteries:
Up to double the gravimetric energy density ~400 Wh/Kg, enabling increased range between charges in EVs;
Lighter weight batteries reducing the cost of manufacture for an EV for key components such as suspension, braking and tires;
Improvement of battery safety, due to the intrinsic reduction in thermal events achieved by the silicon-sulfur chemistry, dramatically reducing risk of fires and/or explosion;
Significant reduction of the LiSiS cell bill of material costs by up to an estimated 35% thereby further reducing EV costs to better facilitate mass market take-up; and
Reduction of the carbon lifecycle of LiSiS cells by more than 30% as compared to incumbent technologies, delivering a more sustainable mass production of LiSiS batteries for EVs.
Gelion and Ionblox will each leverage their technology expertise, patent portfolio protection and leading R&D facilities located in Australia and the US respectively to develop the next-generation LiSiS cells.
Gelion will focus on the optimization of the sulfur cathode by incorporating the acquisition and leveraging the IP Portfolio.
Ionblox will provide their best in class, proven, high-energy density pre-lithiated Silicon Oxide anode and optimize it appropriately for use with Gelion’s sulfur cathode.
Both organisations will jointly develop and optimize a proprietary electrolyte to enable the cycle life characteristics required for EV and electric aviation applications.
Upon completion of the LiSiS cell development, Gelion and Ionblox will finalize their commercial arrangement to take the cells to the global market.