April 19, 2024

Natrion named 2024 Edison Award Gold Winner, hits 430+ Wh/kg milestone

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., April 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Solid-state battery pioneer Natrion has announced it was recognized as a Gold Winner at The Edison Awards in the Resilient & Sustainable Solutions category. The award comes as Natrion hits major technical milestones towards commercializing solid-state battery materials for electric vehicles (EV) and other e-mobility applications at scale.

Natrion was presented with its Gold Edison Award at the April 18th Awards Gala in Fort Myers, Florida, alongside some of the most prestigious and accomplished innovators.

"It is wonderful for our company to receive this recognition," said Natrion co-founder and CEO Alex Kosyakov. "Being awarded is a testament to the hard work, skill, and output of our team, as well as the maturity of our technology and its value to OEMs around the world."

The Edison Award coincides with Natrion's significant recent technical and commercialization progress on its patented components for both Li-ion and Li-metal batteries, positioning it as the industry leader for solid-state technology.

Natrion hits 430 Wh/kg threshold in LMBs

Natrion has conducted additional validation of next-gen Li-metal battery (LMB) cells leveraging its patented solid-state electrolyte separator, called LISIC. These cells differ from current-gen Li-ion batteries (LIBs) by using a metallic lithium anode instead of traditional graphite anode material.

The tests have shown:

  • Retained Charge/Discharge Speeds at Increased Areal Capacities: Since Q4 2022, Natrion has doubled the areal capacity of its prototype LMB cells without compromising charge/discharge rates, now attaining 4.0 mAh/cm2 cells in testing.
  • High Cyclability at Near-Ambient Conditions:These 4.0 mAh/cm2 cells have exceeded 200 cycles at ambient temperatures with just 34 psi of additional external pressure (roughly the amount of pressure in the average car tire). By contrast, many alternative LMB solutions require over 200 psi to operate — significantly complicating EV battery pack design and construction and impeding their use in consumer electronics.
  • Breakthrough Energy Density: The new increased areal capacity maximizes efficiency, thus enabling cells with over 430 Wh/kg of energy density. This is an over 50% improvement compared to the current state-of-the-art LIBs (roughly 280 Wh/kg). The augmented energy density translates to 50% more driving range on a single charge in an electric vehicle (EV) using the same size battery.

Key features of the 4.0 mAh/cm2 LMB cells include:

  • M3 Liquid Wetting Agent: While LISIC is a solid-state electrolyte which moves ions between the electrodes, Natrion's patented M3 is a non-flammable liquid which moves ions inside of the electrodes and facilitates robust LMB charge/discharge performance at lower pressures.
  • LISIC Quality Improvements: Natrion's Gen-1 LISIC separator is now just 12 micrometers thick, boosting cell efficiency and charge transfer speeds.
  • Unparalleled Thermal Stability: Another critical differentiation of LISIC/M3-based LMBs is that they have been shown to remain benign even when fully charged and subjected to temperatures well in excess of the melting point of lithium metal (~350°F).

"This level of thermal event mitigation in a cell with metallic lithium and high-nickel NMC cathode at 100% state-of-charge should put to rest any debates about the safety of LMBs made with LISIC and M3," remarked Kosyakov.

LISIC Shows Promise for Delivering Better LIB Performance

Natrion also performed additional testing on its LISIC separator inside of graphite-based LIBs to reflect current state-of-the-art batteries in use in EVs and consumer electronics today.

While the chief reason for applying LISIC to LIBs was initially for safety given the material's high thermal resilience, Natrion's new testing results suggest that the electrolyte separator has an unexpected additional benefit: it was shown to also augment energy performance in LIBs in addition to making them fire-safe.

LIBs made with LISIC separators showed a 10-15% greater discharge energy capacity compared to identical baseline cells using off-the-shelf polyethylene (PE)/polypropylene (PP) liquid electrolyte separators under identical test conditions.

"Seeing these profound advancements in cell performance has been highly encouraging," added Kosyakov. "Not only can we leverage solid-state separators like LISIC to reduce fire risks, but we can also extract additional energy density to greatly improve today's EVs, consumer electronics, eVTOLs, and more."

Commercial Scale Readiness

Looking forward, Natrion continues to scale its ability to deliver its patented components to potential customers.

"Our team has also been hard at work to ready our production processes for the LISIC and M3," said Krishna Iyer, Natrion's Director of Process Engineering. "We are hitting our target line speeds and our quality control is at a maturity where we can produce rolls of LISIC that are 80+ millimeters in width and can be integrated into cells. With enlarged line widths we hope to target a throughput of 20 tons per annum by 2026, which is enough for 240 MWh of batteries or over 3,000 EVs."

About Natrion
Natrion is a leader in solid-state battery innovation, producing fire-safe, high-performance and manufacturer-friendly components for an all-electric future. Founded in 2018 by Forbes Under 30 founders Alex Kosyakov and Thomas Rouffiac, the company was a winner of the LG Energy Solution Battery Challenge 2022 and 2021 MassChallenge Boston. It also participated in Y Combinator S2019 and NYU Stern's Endless Frontiers Lab. It has received over $3 million from investors including Mark Cuban, TechNexus Venture Collaborative, and Tamarack Global, as well as multiple grants and contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense. The company is headquartered in Binghamton, New York with operations in Champaign, Illinois.

About the Edison Awards™
Established in 1987, the Edison Awards are dedicated to recognizing, honoring and fostering innovations and innovators. Named after Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), the annual competition honors excellence in new product and service development, marketing, design and innovation. For more information visit www.edisonawards.com.