Vorbeck Materials Corp.
Vorbeck Materials was founded in 2006 to bring to market products using graphene, a sheet of carbon that is only a single atom thick. Graphene is the strongest material ever tested and is electrically and thermally conductive. In recent years, there has been significant interest and activity on graphene research and its potential applications. The Aksay Labs at Princeton University produced a patented method for manufacturing graphene at commercial scale. Vorbeck signed a worldwide license for the Princeton technology and commissioned a ton-scale graphene manufacturing plant in 2007.
The partnership between Vorbeck, PNNL and Princeton ultilizes graphene’s unique properties to enable major improvements in the performance of lithium ion batteries, which are widely used in laptops and smartphones and to power electric vehicles. Graphene offers unique advantages as an electrode material in lithium ion batteries because it is strong, thin and highly conductive. Even small quantities of high-quality, single-sheet graphene can lead to batteries that both store large amounts of energy and recharge quickly – breaking traditional trade-offs in battery design between capacity, power and recharge rate. Whereas today’s cell phone batteries typically take between two and five hours to recharge, batteries with graphene-based anodes could recharge in less than 10 minutes.
The unique performance properties of graphene combined with specifically designed chemical modification of the graphene and a novel porous structure has advanced the limit on in what is feasible for lithium battery energy storage. Developments by PNNL and Princeton of lithium air batteries incorporating graphene as a cathode material set the highest energy storage capacity ever recorded, 15,000 milliamp hours per gram. The impact for consumer products will be dramatic. Electric cars with a current range of 100 miles after 10 to 12 hours of recharge will have a range of 400 miles.
Vorbeck, in collaboration with PNNL and Princeton, is working to rapidly bring this new technology to market. Vorbeck is partnering with Hardwire LLC to integrate the new batteries into hybrid military vehicles and is collaborating with companies to incorporate the new technology in toys, tools, and commercial vehicles.
Vorbeck is the only company in the world with commercial graphene-based products on the market today. Products using Vorbeck’s graphene-based circuits have already been sold in major retail chains.