Sion Power Corporation has received a three-year, $800,000 research grant from the United States Department of Energy (DOE). The monies are being used to support Sion’s ongoing work to develop a new class of electrolytes used in lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries for electric vehicle (EV) applications. Sion Power will provide matching funds for this three-year effort.
The project objective is to increase the performance of very high energy lithium metal anodes used in rechargeable battery systems. Sion Power will complete development of its unique electrolyte system employing multiple components. While improving lithium conductivity, one component will be optimized to enhance metallic lithium anode performance; another will enhance cathode functionality. The multi-component electrolyte system will enable Sion Power to improve chemical stability leading to improved safety and abuse tolerance.
According to Sion Power’s CEO, Dennis Mangino, “We consider the receipt of this grant by the DOE a vote of confidence in the future of our advantaged Li-S rechargeable battery technology. There is no known commercial technology that will be able to match the electric vehicle driving performance enabled by Li-S batteries once targeted hurdles of cycle life and safety are overcome. This grant is key in helping to make that a reality.”
Li-S technology already offers significant specific energy advantages over existing rechargeable battery technologies. Sion Power is currently completing development of a range of battery materials which improve Li-S battery life and extend driving range. The higher energy available with Li-S chemistry has the potential to extend significantly driving ranges over that available, or projected, with rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technologies by a factor greater than three.
All major automotive manufacturers are vigorously pursuing the introduction of electric vehicles that are environmentally friendly yet provide the range and comfort consumers expect in automobiles. These criteria cannot be obtained today with any commercially available battery technology. Sion Power is focused on being the first rechargeable battery company to do so.