Lyten secures $4M from DOE to accelerate commercialization of high-capacity, long cycle-life lithium-sulfur batteries
Lyten has secured a $4-million grant from the US Department of Energy (DoE) to accelerate the manufacturing of its advanced lithium-sulfur battery technology. The grant, awarded by DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy / Vehicle Technologies Office, specifically targets lithium-sulfur technologies that can alleviate offshore supply chain risk for EV batteries and increase EV driving range. (Earlier post.)
Utilizing abundantly available and low-cost sulfur, the lithium-sulfur chemistry has the potential to deliver greater than twice the energy density of lithium-ion NMC (nickel, manganese, cobalt) chemistries. Additionally, the chemistry does not require critical minerals such as nickel and cobalt in the cathode or graphite in the anode, enabling a locally sourced, locally manufactured EV battery.
The DoE grant awards for lithium-sulfur follow the passage of National Defense Authorization Act which will prohibit the US Defense Department from buying batteries produced by China’s largest manufacturers starting in October 2027. This ban reinforces the urgency to accelerate the development and rapid scale-up of rechargeable cells with alternative battery chemistries, such as lithium-sulfur, that offer localized supply chains for strategic defense applications and high energy density to support mobility and transportation electrification, Lyten said.
The DoE award is supporting both private industry and university research as part of this round of funding for lithium-sulfur. For this grant, Lyten is working with Stanford University, the University of Texas-Austin, and industrial partner Arcadium Lithium (formed via merger of Livent and Allkem). Separately, Lyten is a subrecipient on a DoE grant awarded to Purdue University to improve modeling capabilities for lithium-sulfur cells.
Lithium-sulfur is a chemistry known for decades to potentially hold two to three times the energy density of lithium-ion but was not envisioned to come into the market until the 2030s due to material science challenges. Lyten has accelerated this timeline by using its 3D Graphene material to develop a sulfur-graphene composite cathode. In June 2023, Lyten opened a semi-automated, lithium-sulfur pilot line producing pouch and cylindrical cells on its 145,000-square-foot campus in Silicon Valley and will begin to deliver non-EV cells commercially in 2024.
In 3Q 2023, Lyten announced it had raised $200 million through a Series B round, bringing total investment up to $410 million to scale 3D Graphene applications and lithium-sulfur battery manufacturing. Lyten investors include a broad range of industry leaders, including Stellantis (third-largest auto manufacturer in the world), FedEx, Honeywell, and Walbridge.
Lyten is a supermaterial applications company. Lyten’s proprietary processes permanently sequester carbon from methane in the form of 3D Graphene and utilize the tunable supermaterial to develop decarbonizing applications. Lyten is currently commercializing next-generation lithium-sulfur batteries for use in the automotive, aerospace, defense, and other markets; a next-generation polymer composite that can reduce the amount of plastic used by up to half while maintaining structural and impact strength; and next-generation sensors that significantly increase detection sensitivity and selectivity for use in automotive, industrial, health, and safety applications.