|2020/4/6 11:00||Green Car Congress||
Enovix raises $45M; working to develop its 3D Silicon Lithium-ion technology for EV market
Enovix Corporation has secured $45 million in new funds to produce and commercialize its 3D Silicon Lithium-ion Battery. The funding sources include a major new strategic investor, current investors (including T. J. Rodgers and York Capital), and non-dilutive funding from market-leading customers. Enovix has developed a lithium-ion battery that incorporates a 100% active silicon anode using a patented 3D cell architecture to increase energy density and maintain high cycle life. The patented 3D cell architecture vertically stacks high-capacity silicon anodes, cathodes, and separators in an inherently flat structure. Unlike the horizontally wound structure of a conventional lithium-ion cell, 3D architecture allows for an integrated stainless-steel constraint to apply stack pressure and maintain silicon particle connection for uniform discharge. The result is both a significant increase in energy density and high cycle life. Source: Enovix. Enovix replaces electrode winding in a standard pouch lithium-ion battery production process with proprietary laser patterning and high-speed stacking tools to increase line MWh capacity by 30%. Enovix will use the bulk of the funds to complete its Fremont, California high-volume battery production facility, where about 75% of the equipment and processes are identical to standard pouch lithium-ion battery manufacturing. We initially attracted customers when we sampled cells about a year ago with energy density over 900 Wh/l and full-depth of discharge cycle life over 500. As customers and investors visited our production site and saw our proprietary electrode laser patterning and high-speed stacking tools in action, their confidence in our production capability was sufficient to generate revenue and secure additional funding.—Harrold Rust, Enovix co-founder and CEO The facility is expected to produce batteries for delivery in late 2020 and to reach a run-rate of 8 million units per year as it ramps in 2021 and 2022. Enovix has also signed new agreements with two additional portable electronics companies. The company now has agreements with four category leading customers to develop and produce silicon-anode lithium-ion batteries for portable electronic devices, worth an anticipated $250 million in annual revenue once fully ramped. Based on successfully deploying 3D Silicon Lithium-ion Battery technology in portable electronic devices, Enovix is now working with leading international automobile manufacturers to develop its patented battery technology for the electric vehicle (EV) market. Initial R&D indicates that cells can achieve gravimetric energy density greater than 340 Wh/kg at a cost equivalent to or below present industry forecasts. Enovix expects to supply the EV market within 5 years. The company is backed by strategic relationships with Intel, Qualcomm and Cypress and more than $200 million in venture, strategic and private funding. It has been awarded more than 70 patents and has more than 40 applications pending.
|2020/4/6 10:30||Green Car Congress||
Fortescue and ATCO to explore the deployment of hydrogen vehicle fueling infrastructure in W Australia; renewable H2
Fortescue Metals Group and ATCO Australia have signed an agreement to explore the deployment of hydrogen vehicle fueling infrastructure in Western Australia. Under the agreement, the two parties will collaborate to build and operate a combined hydrogen production and refueling facility at ATCO’s existing facility in Jandakot in the Perth metropolitan area, with the possibility of wider deployment across the State. The initial refueling facility will provide Fortescue, ATCO and approved third parties with the opportunity to refuel vehicles capable of utilizing hydrogen as the primary fuel source, including a fleet of Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicles which have been made available by Toyota Motor Corporation Australia. The project will serve as a showcase for hydrogen mobility in WA and support the transition to the next generation of zero-emission transport. Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said the company is committed to working with other organizations to position Australia as a leader in the global hydrogen economy. ATCO Managing Director in Australia Pat Creaghan said ATCO is committed to expediting the global transition to a net-zero emissions balance in the future and sees a significant opportunity for hydrogen to play a role in that future. ATCO’s Clean Energy Innovation Hub has been generating and testing the use of renewable hydrogen for more than six months in gas blending and power applications. The Hub provides a fantastic base from which to partner with Fortescue to contribute to Western Australia’s burgeoning renewable hydrogen industry. We look forward to working with Fortescue capitalize on Western Australia’s natural advantages for the benefit of the environment, the economy and the community—Pat Creaghan ATCO and Fortescue have sought funding under the State Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Fund to support the development of this infrastructure, and are awaiting the outcome of this submission.
|2020/4/6 10:00||Green Car Congress||
Skoltech researchers develop titanium fluoride phosphate cathode material for potassium-ion batteries
Researchers from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology (CEST) in Russia have developed a new cathode material based on titanium fluoride phosphate which enabled achieving superior energy performance and stable operation at high discharge currents in potassium-ion batteries. The results of their study are published in an open-access paper in Nature Communications. The rapid progress in mass-market applications of metal-ion batteries intensifies the development of economically feasible electrode materials based on earth-abundant elements. Here, we report on a record-breaking titanium-based positive electrode material, KTiPO4F, exhibiting a superior electrode potential of 3.6 V in a potassium-ion cell, which is extraordinarily high for titanium redox transitions. We hypothesize that such an unexpectedly major boost of the electrode potential benefits from the synergy of the cumulative inductive effect of two anions and charge/vacancy ordering. Carbon-coated electrode materials display no capacity fading when cycled at 5C rate for 100 cycles, which coupled with extremely low energy barriers for potassium-ion migration of 0.2 eV anticipates high-power applications. Our contribution shows that the titanium redox activity traditionally considered as “reducing” can be upshifted to near-4V electrode potentials thus providing a playground to design sustainable and cost-effective titanium-containing positive electrode materials with promising electrochemical characteristics.—Fedotov et al. The rapid development of electric transport and renewable energy sources calls for commercially accessible, safe and inexpensive energy storage solutions based on metal-ion batteries. The high price of the existing lithium-ion technology is a weakness further exacerbated by speculations of supply limitations for lithium and cobalt essential to the production of the cathode. Skoltech scientists succeeded in creating a commercially attractive advanced cathode material based on titanium fluoride phosphate, KTiPO4F, exhibiting a high electrochemical potential and unprecedented stability at high charge/discharge rates. This is an exceptional result that literally destroys the paradigm prevailing in the battery community and claiming that titanium-based materials can perform as anodes only due to titanium’s low potential. We believe that the discovery of the high-voltage KTiPO4F can give fresh impetus to the search and development of new titanium-containing cathode materials with unique electrochemical properties.—Professor Stanislav Fedotov Resources Fedotov, S.S., Luchinin, N.D., Aksyonov, D.A. et al. (2020) “Titanium-based potassium-ion battery positive electrode with extraordinarily high redox potential.” Nat Commun 11, 1484 doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15244-6
|2020/4/6 9:30||Green Car Congress||
Photocatalytic optical fibers convert water into hydrogen
Researchers at the University of Southampton have transformed optical fibers into photocatalytic microreactors that convert water into hydrogen fuel using solar energy. The technology combines, for the first time, microstructured optical fiber technology with photocatalysis, creating a photocatalytic microreactor coated with TiO2, decorated with palladium nanoparticles. The microstructured optical fiber canes (MOFCs) with photocatalyst generate hydrogen that could power a wide range of sustainable applications. The researchers have published their proof-of-concept in ACS Photonics and will now establish wider studies that demonstrate the scalability of the platform. Computerized tomography of a MOFC, showing buildup of TiO2 (light blue particles) in the triangular channels. Zepler Institute, University of Southampton. The MOFCs have been developed as high pressure microfluidic reactors by each housing multiple capillaries that pass a chemical reaction along the length of the cane. Alongside hydrogen generation from water, the multi-disciplinary research team is investigating photochemical conversion of carbon dioxide into synthetic fuel. The unique methodology presents a potentially feasible solution for renewable energy, the elimination of greenhouse gases and sustainable chemical production. Being able to combine light-activated chemical processes with the excellent light propagation properties of optical fibers has huge potential. In this work our unique photoreactor shows significant improvements in activity compared to existing systems. This as an ideal example of chemical engineering for a 21st century green technology.—Dr Matthew Potter, Chemistry Research Fellow and lead author Advances in optical fiber technology have played a major role in telecommunications, data storage and networking potential in recent years. This latest research involves experts from Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), part of the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics, to tap into the fibers’ unprecedented control of light propagation. The scientists coat the fibers with titanium oxide, decorated with palladium nanoparticles. This approach allows the coated canes to simultaneously serve as both host and catalyst for the continuous indirect water splitting, with methanol as a sacrificial reagent. Optical fibers form the physical layer of the remarkable four billion kilometer long global telecommunications network, currently bifurcating and expanding at a rate of over Mach 20, i.e. over 14,000 ft/sec. For this project, we repurposed this extraordinary manufacturing capability using facilities here at the ORC, to fabricate highly scalable microreactors made from pure silica glass with ideal optical transparency properties for solar photocatalysis.—Dr Pier Sazio, study co-author from the Zepler Institute The research builds upon findings from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPRC)-funded Photonic fiber technologies for solar fuels catalysis (EP/N013883/1). Resources Matthew E. Potter, Daniel J. Stewart, Alice E. Oakley, Richard P. Boardman, Tom Bradley, Pier J. A. Sazio, Robert Raja (2020) “Combining Photocatalysis and Optical Fiber Technology toward Improved Microreactor Design for Hydrogen Generation with Metallic Nanoparticles”, ACS Photonics doi: 10.1021/acsphotonics.9b01577
|2020/4/6 9:00||Green Car Congress||
Aalborg U study finds biogas and biomethane reduce dry biomass consumption by up to 16%
Replacing dry biomass-derived fuels with biogas and biogas-derived fuels in certain sectors of the energy system can reduce dry biomass consumption by up to 16% when used for power, heat or industrial sectors, according to a new study by researchers By Aalborg University in Denmark. This paper analyses the role of biogas and biogas-derived fuels in a 100% renewable energy system for Denmark using the energy system analysis tool EnergyPLAN. The end-fuels evaluated are biogas, biomethane and electromethane. First, a reference scenario without biogas is created. Then biogas, biomethane and electromethane replace dry biomass-derived fuels in different sectors of the energy system. If biogas feedstock is free for energy purposes, this brings significant energy system cost reductions, but when the energy sector pays for the biogas feedstock, then savings are lower, in which case biogas and biomethane still reduce the energy system costs for use in power, heat or industrial sectors. Replacement of liquid bio-electrofuels for transport with biomethane shows slight cost reductions, but considerably higher costs when using electromethane. The marginal cost difference to the reference scenario for utilization of biogas in different parts of the energy system with different levels of manure costs with fixed biomass price of €6/GJ. Korberg et al. For power, heat, industry and partly transport, electromethane is economically unfeasible, independent of the dry biomass costs. Biogas should be used directly or in the form of biomethane. It is a limited resource dependent on the structure of the agricultural sector, but it can supplement other renewable energy sources. Resources Andrei David Korberg, Iva Ridjan Skov, Brian Vad Mathiesen (2020) “The role of biogas and biogas-derived fuels in a 100% renewable energy system in Denmark,” Energy, Volume 199, 117426 doi: 10.1016/j.energy.2020.117426