Improved capacity retention and stability of new ARL electrolyte system (blue, squares) versus standard electrolyte system (red, circles) at elevated temperature (60°C)

Wide Temperature Range Lithium Ion Battery Electrolyte System

The US Army seeks a partner to license and commercialize a Lithium-Ion Battery (LiB) electrolyte system with high performance across a wide temperature range.

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Technology Description

The Technology: 
The US Army has developed a new, non-aqueous electrolyte system for lithium-ion batteries that is chemically and electrochemically stable with respect to the anode, cathode and separator materials. The system has excellent energy capacity, capacity retention, and maintains stability and safety at extended temperature ranges without sacrificing performance. The invention is based upon an available lithium salt, lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6), dissolved in a solvent system consisting of a mixture of available lactams and esters. The ARL electrolyte is comparable in cost to existing formulations and does not require changes to existing state of the art manufacturing processes for lithium-ion batteries. The patented electrolyte system is intended for rechargeable energy storage devices comprised of a carbonaceous anode and is compatible with a wide variety of cathode materials.

The ARL invention provides improved battery cycling at very low temperatures, where standard carbonate electrolytes would shut down or function so poorly as to produce only a tiny fraction of rated capacity. In addition, the electrolyte offers performance improvements at higher temperatures, with tests demonstrating insignificant capacity loss and excellent cycling stability in a graphite/lithiated transition metal cell at 60º C. The ARL electrolyte system is compatible with cells operating in the range of 3.7 V to 4.2 V, and likely could reach to 3.5 V. Applicability extends to any electrochemical storage device based on non-aqueous electrolytes, including ultra-capacitors and hybrid capacitors.

Benefits:

  • Enhanced protection against capacity fading for high voltage and high energy density, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries operating at temperature extremes
  • Applicable to energy storage systems comprising a carbonaceous anode and wide variety of cathode materials
  • Drop-in solvent system that does not alter manufacturing processes nor add cost to the production of lithium-ion batteries
  • Provides performance improvements for diverse battery applications including satellites, space vehicles, military, automotive, consumer electronics

The Opportunity:

  • Issued US patent 7,442,471 is available for license
  • Potential for collaboration with ARL inventor team and laboratory

Supplemental Technical Information:

For more information, contact:
Austin Leach, PhD
austin.leach@montana.edu
(406) 994-7707

Licensing Instructions:

In order to apply for license to federally owned technologies, regulations require that specific information be provided regarding your company and plans for commercialization. This information will be incorporated in a license agreement which will be provided for your review prior to signature. All provided information will be considered proprietary and held confidential.

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