Technology

Liquid-to-solid Battery Electrolyte Know-how Licensed Solely to Safire – ORNL

Liquid-to-solid battery electrolyte expertise licensed solely to Safire – ORNL.

The Division of Vitality’s Oak Ridge Nationwide Laboratory has solely licensed battery electrolyte expertise to Safire Know-how Group. The gathering of 5 patented applied sciences is designed for a drop-in additive for lithium-ion batteries that forestalls explosions and fireplace from impression.

Safire, a battery expertise startup previously often called BTRY, plans to find services in East Tennessee as a part of its plan to commercialize the liquid-to-solid battery expertise.

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Susan Hubbard, ORNL deputy for science and expertise, mentioned:

“Enhancing battery expertise is important to constructing a clear vitality future for our nation.

“This expertise has implications for a number of industries, in the end making battery methods safer, extra environment friendly and extra steady.”

The potential for battery cells to catch fireplace or explode when impacted — comparable to in a automobile crash — and trigger property loss, critical accidents or deaths is a serious problem within the adoption of battery expertise for electrical autos and plane, comparable to unmanned aerial autos.

ORNL’s Secure Influence Resistant Electrolyte, or SAFIRE, expertise removes this danger by way of a brand new electrolyte formulation that adjustments the electrolyte from liquid to strong upon impression.

In a lithium-ion battery, a skinny piece of plastic separates the 2 electrodes. If the battery is broken and the plastic layer fails, the electrodes can come into contact and trigger the battery’s liquid electrolyte to catch fireplace. In SAFIRE, the electrolyte solidifies beneath impression, blocking contact between electrodes.

The expertise can considerably cut back car weight and enhance vary by eradicating the necessity for heavy protecting shielding across the battery.

John Lee, co-founder and chief government officer of Safire, mentioned:

SAFIRE will rework the automobile trade, notably as we pivot in the direction of electrical autos.

“The additive is straightforward to include into current battery-making processes and offers customers with a safer various that’s lighter and simpler than standard battery safety, leading to increased efficiency and decrease whole price of possession.”

In protection functions, the expertise offers projectile and ballistic safety whereas decreasing the burden of protection methods and tools.

Lee and Mike Grubbs, Safire’s different cofounder, are additionally partnering with authorities businesses and trade to develop the expertise for electrical vertical takeoff and touchdown, or eVTOL, plane, e-bikes and different Li-ion-powered tools.

Mike Grubbs mentioned throughout a Nov. 15 licensing occasion at ORNL:

This announcement additional strengthens our long-term collaboration with ORNL and permits us to start business testing.

“We’re additionally exploring new partnerships and figuring out prototyping alternatives with automotive, e-bike and eVTOL producers.”

ORNL’s Gabriel Veith, the inventor of SAFIRE, has been working to develop and refine the battery expertise since 2014. Veith has been named in two R&D 100 Awards, together with one for SAFIRE. The event staff additionally contains ORNL colleagues Beth Armstrong, Hsin Wang, Sergiy Kalnaus, Katie Browning and Kevin Cooley.

Gabriel Veith mentioned:

One of the best a part of working at ORNL is the staff surroundings.

” This staff has a rheologist, a ceramicist, an electrochemist, mechanics specialists, supplies testers — all these collectively make this expertise work,” Veith mentioned.

“This isn’t the work of a single individual — teamwork allowed us this actually distinctive alternative. Having a variety of individuals, experiences and backgrounds actually helps to develop concepts.”

SAFIRE was initially funded by way of the ORNL Seed Cash program, and the undertaking continued beneath DOE’s Superior Analysis Initiatives Company – Vitality. The commercialization effort obtained help from the lab’s Know-how Innovation Program in addition to FedTech’s Startup Studio, a enterprise agency program devoted to advancing deep tech.

Safire plans to start out creating prototypes with strategic companions. Events excited about testing the expertise or partnering with Safire ought to e mail partnerships@safire.co.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Division of Vitality’s Workplace of Science, the only largest supporter of primary analysis within the bodily sciences in america. The Workplace of Science is working to handle among the most urgent challenges of our time. For extra info, please go to vitality.gov/science.

READ the newest Batteries Information shaping the battery market

Liquid-to-solid battery electrolyte expertise licensed solely to Safire, November 18, 2022

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