BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PolyPlus, a developer of high-energy lithium batteries, today announced it has been awarded $8.99 million by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of its Investments in Innovative Manufacturing Technologies program. Working with Corning and Johnson Controls, PolyPlus will use the funds to complete development of its Protected Lithium Electrode (PLETM), the critical component in its high-energy density lithium-water, lithium-sulfur and lithium-air batteries.
PolyPlus is one of only 13 companies to receive an award, out of a pool of approximately 1,500 that submitted letters of interest and 250 that eventually submitted applications. These projects are a part of the Obama Administration’s strategy for investing in emerging technologies that create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the competitiveness of U.S. companies in today’s global markets.
“When it comes to clean energy, our motto should be: ‘Invented in America, made in America, and sold around the world.’ The projects announced today will improve the competitive position of U.S. industry and help manufacturers produce more while saving energy, saving money and protecting our air and water,” said U.S. Energy Secretary, Steven Chu.
The PolyPlus lithium-water battery has achieved the highest energy density ever recorded at 1,300 Wh/kg, many times more than the maximum delivered by current lithium-ion batteries. Aimed at the marine market, the battery boasts an extremely long lifetime, making it ideal for such applications as underwater robots or unmanned, underwater vehicles. The company is currently testing samples of the battery, expects the product to be commercially available in 2013, and has already built a list of several companies who have committed to buy the product.
PolyPlus is developing a lithium-air rechargeable battery with exceptional energy density, which is advantageous for products such as portable electronics. Its rechargeable lithium air batteries hold the promise of achieving the “holy grail” for electric vehicles – 500 miles per charge. The company is also working on a new generation of lithium-sulfur batteries aimed at the electric vehicle space.
"This DOE award is a major milestone for PolyPlus and enables us to move more rapidly toward commercialization of our lithium metal battery technology, which has shown tremendous promise for applications ranging from unmanned underwater robots to electric vehicles," said Steven J. Visco, PolyPlus CEO. "From start to finish, this technology is made in America, and we are excited about adding new jobs in the United States as we work to complete development and ramp up production of our PLE. This is a significant event for PolyPlus and our partners in this project, and will enable us to more quickly reach volume production."
PolyPlus Battery Company is the developer of advanced lithium battery products. The inventor of advanced lithium-sulfur batteries, the company is also creating lithium-water and lithium-air batteries that will deliver performance levels unachievable today. PolyPlus has an extensive patent portfolio covering key aspects of its technology including lithium-sulfur batteries, protected lithium electrodes (PLEs), lithium-air, and aqueous-lithium batteries. The company’s technology was named one of Time Magazine’s 50 best inventions of 2011, and won a 2012 Gold Edison Award.