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National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition

SolidEnergy Systems

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Polymer Ionic Liquid (PIL) lithium battery combines the safety and energy density of a solid polymer lithium battery and the high performance of a lithium‐ion battery. The battery developed by SolidEnergy achieves high energy density that works safely over a wide temperature range, which makes it ideal for electric vehicles and consumer electronics where both energy density and safety are essential. The PIL battery would also be successful in oil and gas drilling applications where the ability to recharge, store, transport, and perform at both very low and very high temperatures safely is mission critical.

The PIL lithium battery dramatically improves both the safety and energy density of rechargeable batteries. Our PIL battery safely operates from −40 °C to 250 °C, and has the potential to provide 4X the energy density of today’s best-in-class EV lithium-ion batteries. This technology originated at MIT through the founder’s PhD research and has resulted in two patents (one issued and one provisional). SolidEnergy is pursuing exclusive licensing with the MIT Technology Licensing Office for these patents.

The core technology of the SolidEnergy PIL battery is a novel electrolyte and solid polymer coated lithium metal anode. The electrolyte combines ionic liquid and liquid polymer to provide both the safety and wide temperature capability required for advanced batteries, while the solid polymer coated lithium anode dramatically boosts energy density and cycle life. Additionally, our PIL battery promises to drastically reduce high performance battery costs on a dollar per kWh basis by leveraging existing manufacturing processes, allowing SolidEnergy to take advantage of the massive battery manufacturing over-capacity in the industry.

SolidEnergy’s Intellectual Property (IP) strategy focuses on the electrolyte, anode, interface, packaging, and processing of the battery. The majority of battery companies focus on the cathode, a highly competitive environment with fast innovation cycles, where new technologies are quickly eclipsed by each other. SolidEnergy PIL batteries are cathode-independent, but fully compatible with current and future cutting-edge cathodes. This compatibility and cathode-independence allows us to maintain long-term technological leadership over our competitors. As future battery developers push for greater energy density, they must focus on more energy dense anode materials such as lithium metal. However, lithium metal has safety and compatibility issues with existing electrolyte technology. Our electrolyte technology solves these issues and will be a key enabler for future battery technologies.

Innovators

Mesdi Systems
University of Central Florida

Mesdi Systems developed revolutionary equipment for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries, solar cells, and other high precision products that will improve their performance and lifetime with advanced coatings and quality control.

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Radiator Labs
Columbia University

Radiator Labs developed a low-cost, easily installed radiator retrofit that converts radiator heating systems into a controlled-zoned system, which significantly increases the efficiency of radiator heating while improving occupant comfort.

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Stanford Nitrogen Group
Stanford University

The Stanford Nitrogen Group developed a new wastewater treatment process, termed “CANDO”, for the removal and recovery of energy from waste nitrogen. The CANDO technology improves the efficiency of nitrogen treatment by lowering energy inputs and enabling energy recovery from waste nitrogen.

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NuMat Technologies, Inc.
Northwestern University

NuMat Technologies, Inc is a cleantech spin-out that computationally designs and synthesizes high-performing nanomaterials for gas storage and separation applications. NuMat has developed materials that will fundamentally change the economics of gas storage in natural gas vehicles — supporting the gradual displacement of foreign oil.

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Navillum Nanotechnologies
University of Utah

Navillum Nanotechnologies developed a process to fabricate quantum dots and other types of semiconducting nanocrystals. When used in liquid crystal displays (LCD), quantum dots improve energy efficiency by up to 35 percent and in solar panels can increase efficiency up to 45 percent.

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