PolyPlus and SK Innovation are to jointly develop “the first rechargeable lithium metal battery with a conductive glass separator”.
The partners’ initial goal will be to produce and test prototype cells using California-based PolyPlus’ solid-state lithium anode laminate, which is describe as having “the potential to double the energy density and cycle life of rechargeable batteries”.
Under the agreement, financial terms of which have note been disclosed, South Korea’s SK Innovation will provide development funding, and will receive an option to make “a significant investment in Polypus” and an option to negotiate a licence to PolyPlus technology for use in electric vehicles.
PolyPlus CEO Steve Visco said: “This is a first step in what may be an important long-term partnership. SK Innovation provides complimentary capabilities to facilitate the commercialisation of PolyPlus’ potential breakthrough in battery technology.”
In 2012, the US Department of Energy awarded PolyPlus $9 million as part of its Investments in Innovative Manufacturing Technologies programme. PolyPlus used the funds to complete development of its ‘protected lithium electrode’, an air and water stable anode that enables the development of “safe batteries with unprecedented energy densities and zero self-discharge”.