Green Swan Partners LLC (GSP) – a Pittsburgh, PA, based venture builder – and Arizona State University (ASU) has announced an option agreement with Skysong Innovations, ASU’s technology transfer group, under which GSP has the exclusive option to finalizecommercial rights to ASU’s breakthrough fire-safe lithium battery technology through a new startup Safe-Li.
ASU’s safe lithium technology portfolio features patent pending
inorganic ceramic separators made from a custom formulated zeolite
material for Lithium Ion Batteries (LIB) with improved safety, and a set of inorganic separators with a tailor-designed intra- and inter-particle pore structure for Lithium Metal batteries (LMB) with higher energy density. In addition to preventing thermal runaways and fire from
dendrite breakthrough, the technologies also improves battery performance and longevity at higher charge-discharge rates by as much as three to five times. Finally, improved wettability of the separator allows for the use of a fire-retardant liquid electrolyte further reducing fire risk.
“The electrification of our energy consumption is an important and
necessary step as we battle climate change and improve sustainability,” said Chetan Chothani, CEO of Green Swan Partners. “Billions of dollars have been invested in Lithium batterymanufacturing infrastructure and our technology is an enabling technology that will help realize the full potential of these investments and indeed help it grow further and faster.”
“A lot of work has been done by many others to solve the thermal
runaway problem in Lithium based batteries,” said Dr. Jerry Lin, ASU
Regents’ professor, inventor of the technologies and Chief Scientist
at Safe-Li. “Most of these require a change in the battery manufacturing process which would require new large-scale investments
and re-tooling. We focused our approach towards integrating our
technology into existing battery manufacturing systems. By doing this we
can leverage the existing manufacturing infrastructure and scale up
commercialization and deployment at a much faster rate.”
Safe-Li is now engaging with OEM partners, battery manufacturers and
others in the battery and electrification value chain. The technologies
have been successfully demonstrated at a coin cell level. Safe-Li
expects smaller size battery configurations, of up to 1 Ah to be
available commercially within the year and larger base configurations of
10-100 Ah and larger to be available within 18-24 months.