By Battery Power Online Staff
August 18, 2023 | News from around the battery industry including funding updates for Mitra Future Technologies and Iontra, new company divisions for Custom Electronics, Inc. and BCA Industries, plans for a new battery cell electrode manufacturing facility in the United States, and more.
ABB and Northvolt are further strengthening their long-standing collaboration in the field of green batteries, an increasingly critical part in the ongoing energy transition. Since 2017, ABB has delivered key electrification and automation equipment to power Northvolt Ett gigafactory for lithium-ion batteries in Sweden. This partnership is now being expanded to include battery recycling with ABB providing process electrification to power the world’s largest battery recycling facility, Revolt Ett, being established by Northvolt in Skellefteå, northern Sweden. Financial details were not disclosed. The order was booked in the first quarter of 2023. More information.
South 8 Technologies, the San Diego cleantech company innovating safer and higher performance electrolytes for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries, has closed a strategic investment with Lockheed Martin Ventures, the venture arm of Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), a global leader in defense and aerospace technology, with participation from current South 8 investors LG Technology Ventures, Foothill Ventures and Anzu Partners. South 8 is the first company to develop a novel liquefied gas electrolyte technology as a safer, higher performance alternative to standard liquid electrolytes. Known as LiGas, the liquefied gas electrolyte is simple to incorporate into existing cell production processes, utilizes materials which are all currently manufactured globally at scale and offers simple recyclability at the end of life. LiGas improves safety, increases energy density, achieves all-weather performance, enables fast-charge capability and reduces costs while also being compatible with existing lithium-ion cell production or Gigafactory manufacturing processes and supply chains. More information.
Mitra Future Technologies has completed a $40 million first close of $60 million Series B funding round led by GM. The investment will fuel Mitra Chem’s mission to develop, deploy and commercialize U.S.-made iron-based cathode materials to enable mass-market electrification for electric vehicles, energy storage solutions, and beyond. As part of the partnership with GM, Mitra Chem will develop iron-based cathode active materials (CAM) like lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP) to power affordable and accessible EV batteries compatible with GM’s EV propulsion architecture, the Ultium Platform. GM’s funding will enable Mitra Chem to scale its current R&D and pilot operations to expedite bringing their battery materials to market, leveraging GM’s industry expertise and global reach, accelerating the development and commercialization of its iron-based cathode technology. The additional funding will go to scale current operations and support accelerating commercialization. In addition to GM, other notable investors participating in the Series B funding round include incumbents such as Social Capital, Fontinalis Partners, Earthshot Ventures, The Keffi Group, Boutique Venture Partners, and new investors such as GS Futures, Bricks Capital Management, Zeon Ventures, Scribble VC, WovenEarth Ventures, Bonds Investment Group, and others. The involvement of these esteemed investors underscores the industry’s recognition of Mitra Chem’s groundbreaking technology and its potential to shape the future of battery energy storage with a focus on US-based production. More information.
Eaton has announced that its 9PX lithium-ion uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is now available in a 6 kVA power rating. Responding to customer demand, the latest model incorporates the same innovative capabilities of existing 9PX lithium-ion UPS models—including lithium-ion batteries, remote firmware upgrades and seamless integration with leading HCI and virtualization platforms—making it ideal for edge computing environments as well as light industrial, K-12, higher education and healthcare IT applications. The 6 kVA 9PX lithium-ion UPS is available in rackmount and tower form factors with the same reliable features as the lead-acid UPS, including load segments that allow for prioritized shutdown, remote power on (RPO), remote on/off (ROO) and output relay ports that increase control capabilities. Additionally, the lithium-ion battery is up to 40% lighter than lead-acid batteries with a battery life of 8-10 years. For additional runtime, users can add up to four 2U extended battery modules. More information.
Custom Electronics, Inc. (CEI), an elite source for high voltage mica capacitors and integrated electronic sub-assemblies, has launched Schima, a new energy solutions company and supplier of complex battery power. The Schima online store was founded by the brand’s passionate team of senior product managers and talented engineers. Together with top notch battery experts and suppliers, they created the online site to bring consumers a seamless, direct way to order complete battery systems and quality accessories. Schima’s website also features a curated component catalog, custom content and DIY instructions that will assist consumers every step of the way. More information.
Stryten Energy, a U.S.-based energy storage solutions provider, has installed its advanced vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) at Snapping Shoals EMC, a utility provider for an eight-county area in Georgia. Stryten Energy’s partnership with Snapping Shoals will focus on demonstrating the VRFB’s energy storage capabilities, as well as evaluating additional use cases for the cutting-edge long-duration energy storage technology. The project represents the first VRFB energy storage system manufactured and installed in the state of Georgia. Stryten Energy’s VRFB offers industry-leading power density with a versatile, modular platform that is independently scalable in power and capacity. An unlimited cycle life, with proper maintenance, enables the VRFB system to operate for more than 20 years without the electrolyte losing energy storage capacity. It is uniquely suited for applications that require medium- to long-duration energy storage of six or more hours to help ensure grid stability and facilitate increased utilization of renewables for businesses and consumers across the U.S. More information.
Airbus, BMW Group, and Quantinuum, world leaders in mobility and quantum technologies, have developed a hybrid quantum-classical workflow to speed up future research using quantum computers to simulate quantum systems, focusing on the chemical reactions of catalysts in fuel cells. In a new technical paper, “Applicability of Quantum Computing to Oxygen Reduction Reaction Simulations,” the three partners report accurately modeling the oxygen reduction reaction (“ORR”) on the surface of a platinum-based catalyst. The ORR is the chemical reaction in the process that converts hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity in a fuel cell and it limits the efficiency of the process. It is relatively slow and requires a large amount of platinum catalyst, so there is great interest and value in better understanding the underlying mechanisms involved in the reaction. Using Quantinuum’s H-Series quantum computer, the collaboration team has demonstrated the applicability of quantum computing in an industrial workflow to enhance our understanding of a critical chemical reaction. The three companies plan further collaboration to explore the use of quantum computing to address relevant industrial challenges. Read the paper.
Iontra, a Colorado-based innovator of next-generation battery charging technology, has raised an additional $29 million, bringing its Series B fundraising total to $67 million and $80 million raised to date. The additional Series B funding is led by prominent energy sector investors Volta Energy Technologies and Riverstone with additional support from Flag Asset Management and others. JPMorgan Chase assisted Iontra by acting as the placement agent for the financing. This funding will advance Iontra’s position as a fabless supplier of a low-cost and small-footprint battery charger microcontroller (MCU) for battery-powered consumer products such as power tools, smartphones, hearables, and wearables. With Iontra’s MCU, product manufacturers will be able to integrate Iontra’s technology quickly and easily into their products to unlock the full potential of their batteries while reducing their Bill-of-Materials (BOM) costs. Iontra has opened chip design centers in Dallas and Bangalore, India to develop the initial MCU, and is collaborating with leading companies in the semiconductor supply chain to deliver a robust and reliable solution to customers. More information.
Enevate and Korea’s JR Energy Solution (JR ES) have announced a joint plan to build a battery cell electrode manufacturing facility in the United States. Last month, Enevate announced that it had licensed its industry leading silicon-dominant XFC-Energy battery technology to JR ES for future products and applications. This collaboration will now be expanded to include the joint construction of a battery cell electrode manufacturing facility in the U.S. Enevate and JR ES have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to work together on establishing a US manufacturing facility and have begun the process of identifying potential locations. The facility will produce tailor-made lithium-ion battery cell electrodes, including anodes and cathodes, which will accelerate the market penetration of Enevate’s revolutionary battery fast charge technology for existing and new Enevate customers. The facility will also provide various electrode solutions for other customers including, but not limited to, graphite, silicon, LFP, NMC, NCMA and NCA, for different battery cell form factors such as pouch or cylindrical cells. More information.