Low-Cost High-Power Anode Material for Automotive Lithium-Ion Batteries

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0015925
Agency Tracking Number: 0000223834
Amount: $148,123.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2016
Solicitation Year: 2016
Solicitation Topic Code: 14
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001417
Small Business Information
820 Heinz Avenue, Array, Berkeley, CA, 94710-2737
DUNS: 078668529
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Benjamin Rush
 (510) 390-5120
Business Contact
 Benjamin Rush
Title: Dr.
Phone: (510) 390-5121
Email: ben@saratoga-energy.com
Research Institution
Saratoga Energy, a start-up company based in Berkeley, California, is developing a breakthrough electrolysis process to manufacture graphite from carbon dioxide. Graphite is the primary active anode component used in lithium-ion batteries and constitutes 10-14% of the total cell cost. In turn, the worldwide graphite market size for batteries is estimated to be $1.4 billion in 2015 making it a very attractive opportunity. In the work conducted thus far, the company has established that its process has potential to be very low cost. The graphite produced could offer a 70% cost saving compared to commercial incumbents. In addition, the company’s graphite features another very important characteristic: it enables fast charging of lithium-ion batteries – up to ten times faster than standard anodes. Thus, as the project succeeds, it will provide two essential contributions that are fully aligned with the mission of the DOE Vehicle Technologies Office: contributing to reducing the cost of batteries for electric vehicles and dramatically improving charging performance. In Phase I of this SBIR project, two problems will be addressed. The first objective will be to optimize synthesis conditions to maximize material performance. The second objective will be to demonstrate fast-charging capabilities on 250 mAh lithium-ion full cells with two different cathodes. In Phase II, the project will aim at refining the synthesis process to minimize cost and demonstrating its feasibility at a small pilot scale, paving the way for further customer sampling and qualification, as well as providing necessary process data for a semi-works plant design. In parallel, the long-term cycleability as well as abuse resistance of lithium-ion batteries constructed with the company’s improved graphite will be demonstrated.Commercial Benefits: Societal and public benefits are directly derived from the features of Saratoga Energy graphite. Lower cost and improved battery charging will contribute to customer acceptance of electric vehicles helping the deployment of clean energy technologies. As an added benefit, this graphite is made from waste carbon dioxide and, if produced from renewable electricity, would have a negligible carbon footprint. Key Words: Electric Vehicle, Lithium-ion Battery, Graphite, Anode, Low-cost Materials, Fast Charging

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

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