Lithium-sulfur licensing deal takes aim at Li-ion battery market
Solid Power licensed a portfolio of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) patents relating to lithium-sulfur compositions that will enable development of more energy-dense batteries. ORNL’s proof-of-concept battery research has demonstrated the technology’s potential to improve power, operating temperature, manufacturability, and cost.
"We’re thrilled to add the technology developed at ORNL to Solid Power’s portfolio of novel materials and processes built around manufacturing a better battery," said Douglas Campbell, president and CEO of Solid Power in a statement. "The intellectual property ORNL has perfected better positions Solid Power to successfully achieve its mission."
Solid Power is aiming to develop next-generation energy storage devices for the rechargeable battery market, which is dominated by lithium-ion technologies. The current annual rechargeable battery market is estimated at $12 billion and is anticipated to grow to $20 billion by 2020 to meet demands in consumer electronics, electric vehicles and military, aerospace and industrial applications.
The ORNL technology will aid Solid Power in the development of solid-state rechargeable batteries that can provide two to three times the energy of conventional lithium ion technologies. Because all-solid batteries lack any volatile or flammable liquid components, they hold potential to save costs by eliminating many of the expensive safety features typically associated with lithium-ion systems.
Solid Power plans to bring the technology to market using a simple battery cell architecture that applies industry standard manufacturing processes. The company has constructed a 700-square-foot dry room facility with roll-to-roll processing capabilities that will translate to production scale. The capacity will allow the first large-scale prototypes to begin production before year’s end and to continue in 2016.
ORNL and UT-Battelle work closely with licensees to ensure successful commercialization of licensed technologies. The technology was developed by a team of current and former ORNL researchers including Chengdu Liang, Nancy Dudney, Adam Rondinone, Jong Keum, Jane Howe, Wujun Fu, Ezhiylmurugan Rangasamy, Zhan Lin and Zengcai Liu. The license was negotiated by ORNL commercialization manager Eugene Cochran.