By Dr. Nicholas Grundish, VP Battery Technology
I chose to work with EnergyX because it provided me with the greatest opportunity to build upon my work with Professor Goodenough (the man who jointly won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work developing the lithium-ion battery) and contribute to the decarbonization of our planet. If you are like me, the global shift to electrification cannot come quickly enough.
BATTERIES OF THE FUTURE
Efficient and green energy storage is critical to that goal – especially rechargeable batteries. Batteries will be invaluable as world economies shift from burning fossil fuel to other forms of energy production, such as wind, solar, hydro, and perhaps some forms of clean energy that have not been envisioned. Energy production from renewable sources is great when it is produced during peak hours, but during off-peak hours when the sun isn’t shining and the wind is not blowing, energy cannot be provided from these sources. Having an efficient and low-cost rechargeable battery will allow for excess energy from these sources to be stored and supplied when needed. The great thing is, the batteries can be made to whatever desired scale someone wants! They can be made large enough to power a full grid or manufacturing plant, or small enough to power individual homes, vehicles, or personal devices.
Currently, the most widely agreed upon candidate for these applications is the lithium-ion battery. But, although I worked closely with Dr. Goodenough, we both understood that this technology has its shortcomings and there is a better possibility. A superior battery that could contribute to building a better future.
SOLID-STATE LITHIUM BATTERIES
I’m talking about that “holy grail” of lithium batteries: a solid-state lithium metal battery. Such a battery would eliminate the risks associated with lithium-ion batteries. And such a battery is closer to reality than you might think. The dedicated scientists and professionals here at EnergyX are developing it.
EnergyX isn’t just demonstrating a unique and remarkably effective method for extracting lithium from brine, we are innovating across the entire lithium battery supply chain. Our engineers are developing a method to extract lithium metal in an anode-ready form. That means the battery team can work faster and build better batteries; batteries that will be the safest, most cost-efficient, and long-lasting batteries on the market.
Not very long ago, I announced that the EnergyX battery team had developed new solid electrolytes that can be used in all-solid-state batteries. These solid electrolytes just happen to be non-toxic and are proving to be the best candidates we can find to enable an all-solid-state battery after intense material screening. Our solid-state batteries are reaching daily performance and scaling milestones. The future is here.
EnergyX is already scaling to larger format cells – and that’s just the beginning.
As electrification gets underway, there will be many diverse applications needing many different types of batteries. EnergyX’s revolutionary lithium battery technologies are cathode agnostic, making them versatile enough for many forms of portable energy storage and electric transport.
That’s the goal. And we’re moving quickly in that direction.