Ionic materials could achieve 50% higher energy density while costing less than $100 per kwh

Ionic Materials received an investment from Hyundai Cradle. Ionic Materials has a polymer electrolyte that can make higher performing and safer solid-state batteries. Prototype batteries with Ionic Materials’ solid plastic electrolyte can enable higher energy densities at low cost.

Properties of Ionic Materials polymer

Up to 1.3 mS/cm at room temperature
Lithium transference number of 0.7
High voltage capability (5 volts)
Can accommodate high loadings in the cathode
High elastic modulus
Low cost precursors
Stable against Lithium
Conducts multiple ions

ARPA-E $3 million project

Ionic Materials has a $3 million ARPA-E funded project – Novel Polymer Electrolyte for Solid State Lithium Metal Battery Technology

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Ionic Materials will develop a lithium metal (not lithium ion) rechargeable battery cell that employs a novel solid polymer electrolyte that enables the world’s first truly safe lithium metal rechargeable battery cell. Scientists at the City University of New York have found that Ionic Material’s proprietary ionic conducting polymer is the most highly lithium conducting solid state polymer material ever measured (at room temperature).

The polymer works across a wide range of temperatures and can be reliably extruded into very thin films. It is non-flammable, has attractive mechanical properties, and is compatible with a variety of different anodes and cathodes, including lithium metal.

This polymer could fix several problems with lithium metal anodes like electrochemical stability and the ability to cycle without the growth of branchlike metal fibers called dendrites. Dendrites can cause short-circuiting.

Solid state lithium metal anode batteries have extremely high specific energy (400 Wh/kg or more versus 285 Wh/kg for the best Li-Ion cells today) and their potential to reduce cell costs below $100/kWh, a commonly cited tipping point for the mass adoption of electric vehicles.

Potential Impact:

If this works, Ionic Materials will boost electric car battery storage by 30% compared to today’s Li-ion batteries and lower battery storage system costs.

Security:

IONICS program innovations could contribute to energy storage solutions for transportation and the grid, lessening U.S. dependence on imported oil and improving grid resilience.

Environment:

A 10% increase in electric vehicle use would reduce US oil consumption by 3% and reduce total US CO2 emissions by 1%.