Novel Polymer-Enabled Rechargeable Aluminum-Alkaline Battery Technology

ARPA-E Project Image


Program:
OPEN 2018
Award:
$2,061,799
Location:
Woburn,
Massachusetts
Status:
ACTIVE
Project Term:
04/01/2019 - 09/30/2021

Critical Need:

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) is currently the battery in many electric vehicle (EV) as well as other applications. Li-ion batteries (LIBs) are energy-dense but expensive and potentially dangerous due to fire risks. Innovations in LIBs development and manufacturing have significantly reduced these batteries’ cost of energy per kilowatt hour (kWh); however, cost reduction opportunities are plateauing. 2025 predictions for EV battery pack level costs are $200/kWh. The high cost of the EV battery pack makes it an expensive vehicle component proportionally to driving range. There is a need to reduce costs for wider adoption.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Ionic Materials will develop a more energy dense (by volume and mass) rechargeable battery based on an aluminum-alkaline chemistry. At the center of Ionic Materials’ innovation is a new polymer-based material that suppresses the formation of undesired chemical products that prevent aluminum-alkaline batteries from recharging. Aluminum is a highly abundant natural resource and costs much less than cobalt, nickel, and lithium, key elements in today’s state-of-the-art batteries. Aluminum-alkaline chemistries are also inherently safer than LIBs, making them more appropriate for use in electric vehicle and residential applications.

Potential Impact:

Ionic Materials has invented a novel polymer material that has the potential to revolutionize energy storage by facilitating significant improvements in battery performance, cost, and safety. These improvements promise to:

Security:

Contribute to energy storage solutions for transportation, lessening effects of fossil fuel price volatility

Environment:

Speed the electrification of transportation and the transition to clean and renewable sources of energy

Economy:

Establish U.S. businesses as technical leaders in energy storage, encouraging greater use of readily available renewable resources and increasing the competitiveness of electric vehicles

Contact

ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Halle Cheeseman
Project Contact:
Dr. Mike Zimmerman
Press and General Inquiries Email:
ARPA-E-Comms@hq.doe.gov
Project Contact Email:
mike@ionicmaterials.com

Partners

Ames National Laboratory

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Release Date:
11/15/2018