First practical solid electrolyte for safer lithium batteries

June 15, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
First practical solid electrolyte for safer lithium batteries
US startup Ionic Materials has laid claim to the world’s first practical solid electrolyte for flexible lithium polymer batteries.

The company is talking to companies in Japan developing consumer device, electric vehicle and batteries to bring the material to market.

Batteries made with the solid polymer electrolyte can be folded, cut and damaged without burning and continue to work. The removal of the liquid also results in a more recyclable battery. Ionic says it is the only solid polymer that can function at room temperature and doubles the life of today’s lithium-ion batteries as it is compatible with many next-generation anodes and cathodes such as silicon and graphene.

“The Japanese market is recognized as a leader in electric vehicles, consumer devices and batteries, but these industries are still burdened with using outdated lithium-ion technology and chemistries that don’t offer the necessary energy capacity, safety or cost-effectiveness that’s needed for today’s products,” said Mike Zimmerman, CEO of Ionic Materials. “We are now looking for the right strategic partners to scale and speed the production of our battery material and bring it to the Japanese market.”

The global lithium-ion battery market size will surpass $53 billion by 2024, and renewable and grid storage applications will surpass $12 billion by then, according to Global Market Insights.. Specifically in Japan, the lithium-ion battery market size is predicted to exceed $2 billion by 2024, and production capacity grew 150% last year.

The material can be incorporated into existing cell manufacturing processes, and the company is now actively discussing potential partnerships with leading multi-national materials companies, battery manufacturers and device OEMs (EV and consumer electronics manufacturers) within Japan and globally.

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