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Advanced Multifunctional Battery Separators for Novel Liquid Electrolytes

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0020532
Agency Tracking Number: 0000257117
Amount: $1,150,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 19a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002380
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-05-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-05-02
Small Business Information
274 Quigley Blvd
New Castle, DE 19720-4106
United States
DUNS: 080129582
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Hansan Liu
 (302) 332-9236
Business Contact
 Hansan Liu
Phone: (302) 332-9236
Research Institution
 California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

It’s highly desired to develop safe, sustainable and low-cost battery technology beyond current lithium-ion batteries. However, there is still lack of suitable separators for future new battery chemistries. Some novel liquid electrolytes (such as ionic liquid and aqueous electrolytes) with enhanced safety and low cost features are also delayed to be applied in commercial batteries, due to no compatible separators. In this project, TalosTech LLC and California Institute of Technology developed a new class of separators to fill the market gap and facilitate the development and commercialization of new battery chemistries such as sodium-ion batteries with novel liquid electrolytes. Our novel separators are tailor-made by an innovative tape-freeze casting technology, with the features of vertically aligned pore structure, which has excellent wettability with various liquid electrolytes and provides a short working-ion transportation path for high ionic conductivity. In Phase I, we demonstrated the technical feasibility to use the laboratory-scale freeze casting process to make such kind of tunable separators. The developed separators showed much better wettability and ionic transport properties than commercial polyolefin-type separators, and delivered excellent cell performance for sodium ion batteries in both cyclic carbonate and ionic liquid electrolytes. In Phase II, we will optimize the freeze casting technology with deep understanding of the process parameters, develop separator prototypes for sodium ion batteries in various liquid electrolytes, and scale up the technology to a roll-to-roll continuous production process. Upon the success of this project, we will partner with large material companies and battery separator manufacturers to commercialize this technology, promoting the development and commercialization of more safe and sustainable battery technologies.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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