SmartEnergi has developed a combination of material and manufacturing process innovation that overcomes poor ionic/electronic conductivity and large volume changes during battery charging and discharging processes of current lithium-ion battery that use current battery materials, as well as next generation advanced batteries that use new earth abundant, cheaper and high capacity battery materials. Additionally, our innovation eliminates conventional binding agents such as PVDF as well as toxic solvent such an NMP in the conventional electrode production process.
Specifically, our innovation introduces a new nano-conductive additive in our material formulation, a new mixing technique, and additional mechanical pressure and thermal application in the electrode drying process. The combination of these new processes result in high performance binderless electrode that is strong, flexible, and can accommodate volume changes without destroying the mechanical structure of the material or losing electronic conductivity when subjected to high charging and discharging rates.
By enabling the processing of low-cost, earth abundant, and high capacity active materials, our innovation will reduce battery cost, significantly improve performance and safety, while minimizing the supply chain risks of over dependence on current Li-ion battery materials.
Consequently, our innovation does the following: a) improves current lithium-ion batteries by supporting durable high charge and discharge rates, longer cycle life and improved safety; b) serves as a foundation for making high capacity, low cost, high performance next generation advanced batteries with improved safety using earth abundant cheaper materials.
Our innovation was originally developed by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), a government research lab, with funding from the US Department Energy Vehicle Technology Program. We have exclusive rights to the IP. NREL demonstrated the technology with durable high-rate capability enabled by the binderless electrode manufacturing innovation on a new binderless iron oxide anode and improvement of conventional lithium-ion LMO cathode.