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High Energy Batteries for Electric Flights

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-21-P-0084
Agency Tracking Number: FX20D-TCSO1-0093
Amount: $132,383.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AFX20D-TCSO1
Solicitation Number: X20.D
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-12-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-06-04
Small Business Information
428 Oakmead Parkway
Sunnyvale, CA 94085-1111
United States
DUNS: 078513612
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Vinod Nair
 (412) 452-4004
Business Contact
 Shantanu Mitra
Phone: (408) 472-3696
Research Institution
 University of California, Irvine
 Ramakrishnan Rajagopalan
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-1900
United States

 (814) 375-4827
 Nonprofit college or university

The objective of this proposal is to demonstrate the feasibility of producing novel electrochemical cells with energy density of >500 Wh/kg, capable of recharge rates of 1C, with a robust safety profile. To accomplish this, we plan to use our patented carbon technology to synthesize C/Si composites for the anode and C/S composites (lithiated) for the cathode (all other components will be commercially sourced).  During Phase I, we will synthesize and test the C/Si materials (4 different combinations of Si content and particle size).  We have already measured >500mAh/g on our C/Si composite with 10% Si (and will design the final composite for this application using that information as an input).  The deliverables include electrochemmical test data on all the C/Si combinations synthesized during this phase of the project.  We also plan to synthesize the C/S cathode materials and perform initial materials characerization testing on these.  The goal here is to develop a one-pot process from the carbon and sulfur salt precursors to synthesize a C/S cathode with all the precursors being converted into the final components of the composite. Farad Power's process to synthesize carbons utilizes polymerization of a furfuryl alcohol carbon precursor in the presence of additives. Furfuryl alcohol is a liquid organic compound that is derived from agricultural waste (namely sugarcane bagasse and/or corn cob). It is readily available, inexpensive, and derived from a renewable source. We have studied this system in great detail and have synthesized >100 batches of carbon and carbon composites using this method in our labs.  We have already been granted 8 patents on the technology and have filed several more. The data obtained from Phase I will be used to synthesize and test C/S cathodes during Phase II  - with a goal towards fabricating coin and pouch cells using the C/Si and C/S electrode materials synthesized using our method.  The main advantages of our method include ability to form very uniform and homogeneous mixtures of the C/S and C/Si composites.  This is due to the fact that we use a liquid carbon precursor and mixing a solid powder into a liquid will result in a much homogeneous mixture than mixing two solid powders.  Also, using a liquid carbon precursor with a Si powder will result in a complete coating of the Si particles with a carbon layer (formed after polymerization and carbonization of the furfuryl alcohol precursor).  

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

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