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solid-state

Sakuú announces pilot facility as it scales up solid-state lithium-ion battery ambition

Fri, 09/03/2021 - 15:25 -- paul Crompton

Construction of a US solid-state lithium-ion battery pilot line and learning center is being built by additive manufacturing company Sakuu Corporation.

The US firm’s (previously named KeraCel) pilot line will be able to produce up to 2.5MWh of solid-state batteries per year and serve as a customer learning center for its advanced additive manufacturing platform. 

The facility is due to be operational by end of 2021.

Sakuú is aiming to produce solid-state batteries that are up to 50% smaller and 30% lighter than lithium-ion batteries, although the firm didn’t give any figures to back up that promise.

The pilot line will test the viability of the battery manufacturing process and enable Sakuú to deliver sample products to its “early access strategic partners”.

The second phase is expected next year and will use an array of Sakuú AM Platforms to produce up to 1GWh of solid-state battery capacity per year.

Sakuú is working with Relevant Industrial and Honeywell Process Solutions to design and develop the facility by scaling-up the laboratory environment into a fully functioning pilot manufacturing plant.

Relevant and Honeywell will provide engineering, process design, systems integration, and process manufacturing expertise to efficiently build the factory.

Robert Bagheri CEO and founder of Sakuú, said: “This is an important milestone for us. Our technology development has progressed to the level where we have decided to move ahead with our plan to construct and operate a pilot facility. 

“This facility will enable us to provide our strategic customers and early access partners with solid-state batteries for their own development and testing."

New cell developed

Last month, Sakuu announced it has developed a 3Ah lithium-metal solid-state battery (SSB).

Sakuú has been developing its first generation battery technology alongside its additive manufacturing platform, and aims for commercial launch by the end of this year. 

The first-generation batteries comprise 30 sub-cells and a proprietary printed ceramic separator. 

The battery will be targeted to consumer, aerospace, mobility, and other applications.

Bagheri said: “Over the last year, we have improved our battery energy capacity by a factor of 100 and our volumetric energy efficiency over 12 times and are planning to begin volume production of the batteries in early 2022 to meet the needs of our strategic partners."

In June, the California-based firm won approval of three patents: a hybrid solid-state cell with a sealed anode structure; an additive manufacturing system; and an electrophotographic multi-material 3D printer. 

This latest patent is for a monolithic ceramic electrochemical cell housing an anode and cathode receptive space, alongside a separator between the two— allowing for higher charging rates without the risk to safety posed by lithium-ion batteries. 

This is in addition to two previous battery patents for an integrated cell stack battery and monolithic solid-state battery, which were granted back in 2020. 

The second patent for a three-dimensional AM system, allows for patterned single layers to be assembled into a three-dimensional active device onto an assembly plate. The patent includes a carrier substrate which allows for single layers to be built separately and then dispensed on a stack on the assembly plate. 

The final patent is an electrophotographic three-dimensional printer system that can be used to create a 3D part derived from a composite toner material. 

The new patent allows for the use of multiple engineering materials, such as ceramic, metal and polymer materials, which electrophotography was previously unable to employ.

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Solid-state lithium-ion company to go public after merger with blank cheque firm

Fri, 06/25/2021 - 16:36 -- paul Crompton
Solid-state lithium-ion company to go public after merger with blank cheque firm

The battery industry’s gradual transition to solid-state lithium-ion technology continues this week with Solid Power signing a deal to become a publicly listed company.

The producer of all-solid-state batteries is due to trade on NASDAQ following a merger with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation III (DRC), a blank cheque firm sponsored by an affiliate of energy-focused private investment firm Riverstone Holdings.

Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company’s common stock and warrants are expected to trade under the ticker symbol “SLDP”, and is expected to have a nine-person board composed of a majority of independent directors and will continue to be led by its existing management team.

Cash proceeds to Solid Power will be used to fund operations and support its growth.

The boards of directors of both Solid Power and DCRC have approved the proposed transaction, which is due to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Robert Tichio, chairman of the board of DCRC and partner at Riverstone Holdings, said, “Solid-state batteries have long been the elusive technology breakthrough in the battery category for the better part of a decade. 

“Countless labs, scientists, ventures and corporates have claimed progress towards scalable solid-state batteries, with an emphasis on claims. No other known company has made the type of commercialisation achievements in all-solid-state batteries that Solid Power has.”

In May, Solid Power announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies. 

Ford and the BMW Group also expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all-solid-state batteries for future electric vehicles. 

Transaction Overview 

The business combination values Solid Power at an implied $1.2 billion pro forma enterprise value. Upon closing of the transaction and assuming no redemptions by DCRC public stockholders, Solid Power is expected to have approximately $600 million in cash, including a $165 million fully committed PIPE transaction anchored by investors Koch Strategic Platforms, Riverstone Energy Limited, Neuberger Berman funds and Van Eck Associates Corporation. 

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QuantumScape hires Mikolajczak to lead transition at solid-state battery pre-pilot facility

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 11:31 -- paul Crompton
Solid-state battery hopeful QuantumScape has appointed Celina Mikolajczak as its vice president of manufacturing engineering.

Solid-state battery hopeful QuantumScape has appointed Celina Mikolajczak as its vice president of manufacturing engineering.

Mikolajczak will lead the transition of the company’s tools and manufacturing processes from research and development to production. 

Her primary projects will involve the deployment of the high-throughput continuous-flow processes at QuantumScape’s pre-pilot line facility in San Jose, US. 

As part of the transition to the company’s leadership team, Mikolajczak is resigning her seat on the QuantumScape board of directors, effective immediately.

Mikolajczak was most recently vice president of engineering and battery technology at Panasonic Energy of North America. 

She was a senior manager, battery technologies at Tesla.

Jagdeep Singh, CEO and co-founder of QuantumScape, said: “Celina is not only a battery technology expert, having spent virtually her entire career at leading battery-related companies, but has a profound understanding of what it takes to scale up battery production.”

Mikolajczak joins Clayton Patch, who started as vice president of manufacturing at the company in May.

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UK solid-state battery developer signs agreement to scale-up pouch cell development

Wed, 12/09/2020 - 12:08 -- paul Crompton

UK battery developer Ilika has signed a framework agreement with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) to support the scale-up of the former’s Goliath solid-state pouch cells.

The framework agreement sets up a plan for the companies to work together on solid-state cells and includes the ability for Ilika to set up a production line at the BIC in the facilities planned during Phase 2 of the UKBIC’s expansion. 

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Solid-state lithium-ion battery developer appoints head of marketing

Wed, 11/25/2020 - 11:46 -- paul Crompton

Solid-state lithium-ion battery developer QuantumScape has named Asim Hussain as its chief marketing officer.

The former VP of commercial strategy at hydrogen and fuel cell energy storage firm Bloom Energy will now head up marketing at QuantumScape, which merged with special purchase acquisition company (SPAC) Kensington Capital Acquisition in September at an enterprise value of $3.3 billion.

QuantumScape, which is backed by Bill Gates and Volkswagen, claims its lithium-metal battery has an energy density exceeding 400Wh/kg.

Hussain said on his LinkedIn page: “I joined Bloom to work to bring solid oxide fuel cells to the market and the world. For my next adventure, I am continuing the solid-state breakthrough energy technology theme. 

“I begin my new role at QuantumScape, a company with a revolutionary solid-state lithium-metal battery technology that will transform the energy storage landscape, starting with making EVs accessible, affordable, and safe for the mass market.”

Scientists use algorithm to identify potential solid electrolyte materials for lithium-ion batteries

Mon, 11/02/2020 - 12:49 -- paul Crompton

Theoretical scientists at Stanford University have identified a new class of materials that could lead to the development of more efficient solid-state lithium-ion batteries.

The materials—lithium, boron and sulfur— were identified after the team used a computer algorithm to screen more than 12,000 lithium-containing compounds in a materials database. 

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Ampcera a step closer to commercialising its solid electrolyte technology for solid-state lithium-ion batteries

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 12:59 -- paul Crompton

Battery electrolyte developer Ampcera has announced the latest step in the commercialisation of its flexible solid electrolyte (SE) membrane technology for solid-state lithium-ion batteries. 

The US firm claims its solid-state electrolyte (SSE) has the potential to enable solid-state lithium metal batteries to achieve an energy density of 500Wh/kg while reducing cost to below $100/kWh.  

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CATL begins work on laboratory to develop next-generation batteries and energy conversion systems

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 11:43 -- paul Crompton

Lithium-ion battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) has broken ground on an innovation laboratory at its headquarters in Ningde, east China's Fujian Province.

The 21C Lab— named to represent its aspiration to lead innovation trends in the 21st century— marks the start of the company's exploration into developing next-generation electrochemical energy storage systems and new energy conversion systems.

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Electrolyte breakthrough suggests superior solid-state lithium-ion batteries are around the corner

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 10:21 -- paul Crompton

A team of Brown University researchers has found a way to double the toughness of a ceramic material used to make solid-state lithiu-ion batteries

The researchers in the US infused a ceramic with graphene to increase the material’s fracture toughness in a bid to make a more robust lithium-ion battery electrolyte. 

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ORNL‘s polymer and ceramic composite promises better solid-state electrolyte for lithium metal batteries

Wed, 05/20/2020 - 10:56 -- paul Crompton

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a thin film, highly conductive solid-state electrolyte made of a polymer and ceramic-based composite for lithium metal batteries. 

The electrolyte’s novel design is a three-dimensional interconnected structure that can provide mechanical robustness and high lithium ionic conductivity at room temperature.

Image: A thin film solid-state electrolyte with a three-dimensionally interconnected structure was fabricated by ORNL researchers. The structure increased conductivity through the ceramic base. Credit: Xi Chen/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

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