Rather than relying upon conventional cathodes that use lithium-ion intercalation chemistry, an inherently slow process, we exploit the fast redox-reaction properties of our polymer to enable rapid charge and discharge.
Super Battery Technology - High Capacity Cathode
David D. Lee | BioSolar
Please provide a description of the BioSolar Super Battery and its capabilities.
BioSolar is currently developing a high capacity Super Cathode for use by battery manufacturers to create the ultimate high capacity, low cost lithium-ion battery.
Our novel high capacity cathode is engineered from a polymer, similar to that of low-cost plastics used in household products. Utilizing a smart chemical design, we manipulate the polymer to hold a tremendous amount of electrons. Rather than relying upon conventional cathodes that use lithium-ion intercalation chemistry, an inherently slow process, we exploit the fast redox-reaction properties of our polymer to enable rapid charge and discharge.
While most lithium-ion batteries do not retain more than 80% of storage capacity after 1,000 charge-discharge cycles, we believe the stable redox chemistry of our cathode material can enable significantly longer life. Our laboratory experiments have indicated that the cathode can cycle over 50,000 times without degradation in super capacitors. We are also confident that it can be extremely effective in batteries as well.
Based on internal analysis, a super battery built upon this innovative technology can double the capacity, cost four times less, and potentially break the $100/kWh cost barrier needed for mass market adoption of energy storage. Achieving the $100/kWh cost barrier would effectively reach what is referred to as the "holy grail" for energy storage.
What are the ideal applications for this technology?
We are essentially trying to solve what has been one of the fundamental challenges since the inception of renewable energy technology – once the energy is captured by PV panels, where do you store it? We hope to represent that solution.
On the other hand, we believe our technology can reach a wide variety of industries and verticals. Electric vehicles and stations, residential and commercial solar systems, and even consumer products such as personal cellular devices represent market opportunity.
Which of these applications is the best suited to focus on for the next few years?
Transportation is the fastest growing segment of battery industry and is one of the biggest users of energy storage. A low cost, fast charging and long- range battery will enable the mass adoption and affordability of clean-energy vehicles to replace fossil fuel vehicles. Therefore, our highest priority will be to partner with conventional battery manufacturers that are already supplying to the transportation industry.
On-site energy storage is a very fast growing sector, as well. A super battery that can increase capacity, costs much less, and can break the $100/KWh cost barrier needed for mass market adoption of energy storage, will be a major contributor to on-site energy storage regardless of whether they are attached to solar power generation or not. Therefore, we will be placing a high priority on this sector.
Consumer Electronics is also a very large segment of battery industry, and includes everything from mobile phones, laptops, power tools, Internet of Things (IoT). Higher energy capacity and rapid charge will enable mobile lifestyles where we don’t have to worry about running out of battery charge, or be attached to wall outlets of airport terminals waiting for that extra charge. We will be looking for opportunity to team up with mature battery manufacturers already entrenched in his sector.
How does BioSolar’s energy storage technology differ from that of competitors and other technologies?
Since there is really no established energy storage product viewed as being truly effective and revolutionary, our main competition is represented by the many lithium-ion battery solutions that have been widely available but without groundbreaking performance improvements. Most recent research and development focused on achieving incremental improvements in charging capacity, costs, or longer life cycle, etc., but are not all at the same time. More importantly, most groundbreaking solutions are not expected to become mature products in the near future.
Our novel high capacity cathode is engineered from a polymer that provides high charging capacity at lower costs. Rather than relying upon conventional cathodes that use lithium-ion intercalation chemistry, an inherently slow process, we exploit the fast redox-reaction properties of our polymer to enable rapid charge and discharge.
Our cathode can provide longer life cycle for the Li-ion battery. The longer life cycle is due to the stable redox chemistry of our cathode material as demonstrated by our laboratory experiments using the cathode in super capacitors.
Our novel cathode is compatible with current battery manufacturing processes. Conventional electrolytes and aluminum current collectors can be used. Therefore, today's battery manufacturers can simply replace the cathode fabrication process with the new BioSolar materials and processes. This will allow our battery manufacturing partners to achieve significant capacity improvement and cost savings without having to make major modifications to their existing manufacturing equipment or processes.
Please explain the challenges BioSolar, and other companies face, with respect to commercialization. Use this question to address the $100/kWh cost barrier to mass market adoption.
The innovation recently occurred in the renewable energy space and tech spaces, be it electric cars, solar expansion, new cellular products, and interest from utility power companies, all of which are providing excellent market opportunity for battery technologies that can help address the $100/kWh cost barrier to mass market adoption.
There have been numerous attempts by a number of startup companies to commercialize their battery technologies that promises incremental improvement in storage capacity, cost, or long term reliability. Unfortunately, none have been able to provide compelling technology that can challenge the $100/kWh cost barrier by relying upon conventional cathodes that use lithium-ion intercalation chemistry, an inherently slow process.
Therefore, it is extremely important for any startup company to be able to provide solid evidence that its technology is indeed capable of addressing the $100/kWh cost barrier in order to convince its potential partners and customers already entrenched in the market.
Our near term goal is to build commercial grade prototype cathodes that enable full scale testing of Li-ion battery incorporating the cathode. The performance data obtained from the full scale testing will help us to secure beneficial partnerships.
Battery designs based on new chemistry or breakthrough technology often require entirely different ways of manufacturing. Thus, existing manufacturing facilities can no longer be used to manufacture new batteries without undergoing substantial new investments in equipment and processes. Therefore, it is important for the technology to be easily inserted into existing battery manufacturing processes.
How will you get over the hump and bring the battery to the market in a big way?
Our near term goal is build commercial grade prototype cathodes that can be used to perform full scale testing of Li-ion battery incorporating our cathode. Next, we will use the performance data obtained from full scale testing to secure technology/manufacturing partnerships with companies that have significant potential market share in the Li-ion battery industry.
We will also demonstrate that our cathode is compatible with current battery manufacturing infrastructure, and that conventional electrolytes and aluminum current collectors can be used efficiently. Therefore, today's battery manufacturers can simply replace their existing cathode fabrication process with the new BioSolar platform. We believe this seamless transition will drastically increase the likelihood that our technology garners mass adoption.
What are the next steps for BioSolar as it pursues commercialization?
We are in the process of preparing commercial grade prototype cathodes that can be used to perform full scale testing of Li-ion battery incorporating our cathode. Next, we will use the performance data obtained from the full battery system (incorporating our cathode) testing to secure technology/manufacturing partnerships with companies that have significant potential market share in the Li-ion battery industry.
We are working hand in hand with the University of California, Santa Barbara, who we recently extended our research agreement with. UCSB is considered to be a global leader in bioengineering, chemical and computational engineering, materials science, nanotechnology and physics. We are confident that the combined efforts of all scientific professionals involved will continue to advance this technology closer to the goal of achieving a $100/kilowatt-hour cost milestone for energy storage.
How can investors get involved in the development of the company and its products?
We suggest that investors interested in energy storage review our website, press releases, media coverage, and information about our strategic goals. We have a Company newsletter, found on the bottom left corner of our homepage -- http://biosolar.com/ -- that provides an abundance of information.
About David D. Lee, Ph.D - President and Chief Executive Officer
David D. Lee, founder of the BioSolar, has over 30 years of engineering, marketing, sales, and corporate management experience in the areas of military and consumer communication systems, automotive electronics, software development and consulting. He has held senior management positions in numerous technology companies over the course of his career including Chief Operating Officer for Applied Reasoning, Inc., an Internet software development company; Vice President and General Manager of RF-Link Technology, Inc., a wireless technology company; Program Manager at TRW Transportation Electronics, and Systems Engineer at TRW Space and Defense. Dr. Lee holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
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