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Lithium-ion

Energy storage start-up Sparkz licenses ORNL’s cobalt-free lithium-ion battery technology

Mon, 02/17/2020 - 10:48 -- Paul Crompton

Energy storage start-up Sparkz aims to design cobalt out of lithium-ion batteries after exclusively licensing five battery technologies from the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The technologies include cathode materials, a novel electrolyte formula and a scaling process that could enable industrial scale production of cobalt-free batteries electric vehicle and energy storage applications. 

Sparkz is evaluating a location for an R&D and prototyping facility in the U.S. to scale these technologies to meet the demands of customers in the mobility and grid sectors.

The licensed technologies including:

  • High energy density secondary lithium batteries:
  • Cobalt-free layered oxide cathodes
  • Nonaqueous electrolyte with lithium bis (fluorosulfonyl)imide salt for fast charging/discharging of lithium-ion batteries
  • Early transition metal stabilized high capacity oxidatively stable cathodes of lithium-ion batteries
  • Battery materials scale up and processes: This manufacturing innovation enables industrial-scale production of battery materials through a series of chemical processes.

Despite cobalt’s ability to increases the performance of lithium-ion batteries the metal is costly and mostly mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where humanitarian concerns of workers have been reported.

Global battery demand for batteries is expected to increase from 184GWh in 2018 to more than 2,600GWh in 2030, according to a report by the World Economic Forum’s Global Battery Alliance.

Last year, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office selected the ORNL-Sparkz partnership for the DOE Lab Investment Incubator Activity, which focuses on maturing lab-scale technologies for commercialisation.

The partnership was also selected in 2019 for a $750,000 DOE Technology Commercialization Fund project, “Enabling Cobalt-Free Battery Solution for Behind-the-Meter Storage.”

Sparkz was founded last year by Sanjiv Malhotra, who was the first director of DOE’s Energy Investor Center.

Nitin Muralidharan, a postdoctoral researcher at ORNL, performs synthesis of a cathode material using a continuous stirred tank reactor for the development of cobalt-free batteries. Credit: Ilias Belharouak/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

 

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Energy storage start-up Sparkz licenses ORNL’s cobalt-free lithium-ion battery technology

Mon, 02/17/2020 - 10:46 -- Paul Crompton

Energy storage start-up Sparkz aims to design cobalt out of lithium-ion batteries after exclusively licensing five battery technologies from the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The technologies include cathode materials, a novel electrolyte formula and a scaling process that could enable industrial scale production of cobalt-free batteries electric vehicle and energy storage applications. 

The full story is only available in our FREE weekly industry newsletter, so sign-up to get it delivered to your inbox every Monday.

LG Chem lithium-ion battery supply shortage causes halt to electric vehicle manufacturing

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 14:40 -- Paul Crompton

A shortage of lithium-ion batteries from LG Chem’s European gigafactory forced luxury vehicle OEM Jaguar to halt production of its I-Pace electric car.

Jaguar was unable to secure enough batteries from the Korean firm’s Poland factory to continue production of its £61,000 SUV at a factory in Graz, Austria, for a week from 10 February.

The full story is only available in our FREE weekly industry newsletter, so sign-up to get it delivered to your inbox every Monday.

Rogue battery companies still a major concern when shipping lithium-ion by air

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 10:04 -- Paul Crompton

Rogue companies that flout regulations aimed at making the transportation of lithium-ion batteries safer continue to mar the industry’s reputation.

Mislabelled and misdeclared shipments of batteries remain the biggest threat when transporting lithium-ion batteries by air, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has told BEST.

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Japanese JV aims to close the circle with lithium-ion battery recycling plant in India

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 09:53 -- Paul Crompton

Automotive Electronics Power— a joint venture of Suzuki, Toshiba, and Denso — is planning to build a lithium-ion battery recycling plant in India to compliment the gigafactory it plans to develop in the country.

The company aims to build a recycling facility capable of recovering metals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese from used lithium-ion batteries.

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Imports of lithium-ion batteries continue to rise as India embraces the technology

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 09:44 -- Paul Crompton

There is no doubt India is one of the biggest emerging battery markets in the world, but a lack of manufacturing facilities means it had to import $1.2 billion (₹8,777crore) worth of lithium-ion in 2019.

India imported 713 million lithium-ion batteries from 1 January to 30 November last year, more than doubling imports of the technology within three years.

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BMZ Group and VDE form strategic partnership to push European battery industry agenda

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 09:39 -- Paul Crompton

Lithium-ion battery producer BMZ Group and technology association VDE Renewables have formed a strategic partnership to promote Europe’s battery storage industry.

Through the Battery Experts Forum conference, organised by the BMZ Group, the partnership aims to promote and strengthen international dialogue within the industry.

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Lead-acid firm Digatron launches European lithium-ion cell assembly equipment division

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 12:41 -- Paul Crompton

German battery testing and formation company Digatron Power Electronics has launched a lithium-ion cell production division. 

Based in Italy, Digatron Systems will offer tailored integrated solutions for lithium-ion cell production, formation and module assembly.

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Toyota and Panasonic JV to make lithium-ion vehicle batteries and develop next-gen technology including solid-state

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 15:57 -- Paul Crompton

A joint venture between vehicle OEM and Toyota Motor Corporation and lithium-ion battery maker Panasonic will specialise in prismatic batteries for automotive applications0.

The new company, called Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES), is due to begin operation on 1 April this year from its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

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Lithium-ion battery anode pioneer recognised after missing out on Nobel prize

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 15:47 -- Paul Crompton

He may have been overlooked for a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, but the man whose technology rests in more than 95% of all lithium-ion batteries has been recognised for his work in bringing the chemistry to a global market.

Morocco’s Professor Rachid Yazami was given the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment for his work in inventing a graphite anode for lithium-ion batteries.

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