South 8 Partners with NanoGraf on $6.4M U.S. Army Contract to Advance Domestic Lithium-ion Battery Production

Joint project will develop Family of Advanced Standard Batteries (FAStBat) to power military platforms

SAN DIEGO--()--South 8 Technologies (South 8), the developer of LiGas®, a liquefied gas electrolyte for advanced lithium-ion batteries, announced today that it is collaborating with NanoGraf to deliver higher energy, safer, and lighter batteries for soldiers in the battlefield. South 8’s $6.4 million subcontract with NanoGraf will support the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center (DEVCOM). South 8 will develop and deliver a high-rate injection system for its LiGas electrolyte to bolster domestic production of cylindrical lithium-ion batteries under the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)’s Family of Advanced Standard Batteries (FAStBat) initiative.

U.S. soldiers are often weighed down by more than 20 pounds of lithium-ion batteries when in the field, carrying multiple battery packs as backups in case of poor performance due to extreme weather or physical damage. The combination of South 8 and NanoGraf’s technologies has the potential to alleviate these common lithium-ion battery concerns, while also offering soldiers a lighter load. Together, South 8 and NanoGraf plan to develop a universal, accessible, domestically produced energy storage cell.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with NanoGraf and the Department of Defense through the FAStBat program. Our goal is to improve soldier safety, military capabilities, and the domestic lithium-ion battery supply chain,” said Tom Stepien, CEO of South 8. “While today’s lithium-ion batteries struggle with poor capacity in difficult climates, our LiGas electrolyte directly addresses significant pain points by enhancing range and performance in extreme environments, while minimizing fire risk during critical missions.”

South 8’s LiGas is a liquefied gas electrolyte that dramatically improves the energy performance, safety, charging speed, and cost of lithium-ion batteries. Applications include defense, aerospace, home and grid stationary storage, and electric vehicles. Using South 8’s LiGas technology, NanoGraf plans to prototype a high-energy, rugged, and scalable 18650 cell design that promises to lighten the load for soldiers in the field and reduce supply chain risks through planned North American production.

“We are committed to advancing battery innovation and helping to build a more resilient battery supply chain. We are enthusiastic about how our work with the DoD and South 8 will help achieve this goal,” said Dr. Francis Wang, CEO of NanoGraf. “Adding the safety and extreme temperature capabilities of South 8’s LiGas electrolyte to our silicon anode 18650 cells has the potential to yield a powerful product with unique benefits compared to other commercial cells.”

Today’s announcement builds on the successful completion of a joint project to test and ensure NanoGraf’s 3.8 Ah 18650 cell and South 8’s LiGas electrolyte can eliminate catastrophic failure when exposed to extreme temperatures or physical abuse.

“With thousands of DoD systems in the field, today’s successful and safe military operations require long-lasting, versatile battery technology,” said José Collazo-Castillo, Project Lead, Supply Resiliency for Soldier Power (SRSP) at the DEVCOM C5ISR Center. “We look forward to seeing how the combination of South 8 and NanoGraf’s technologies can help the U.S. build and produce higher performing, cross-compatible battery cell technology and help fortify the supply chain for the future of national security.”

The DIU’s FAStBat program issued the first of 10 awards in 2023, leveraging commercial technologies to standardize the development and procurement of materials and battery cells for common defense applications across domains such as soldier-portable systems, ground vehicles, and aviation. DIU's FAStBat effort also helps meet the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries 2021-2030 objective to “develop form-fit-function battery standards for defense, EV and grid applications” and a 2030 objective to “meet critical defense battery demand with multiple-source domestic suppliers.”

About South 8 Technologies
South 8 solves lithium-ion’s “fire and ice”™ problems with LiGas®, a patented liquefied gas electrolyte. LiGas reduces lithium-ion fire risk and operates from -60°C to +60°C, enabling clean battery power to more applications, environments and people. The San Diego-based company has been granted 26 patents across seven countries and jurisdictions. Learn more:

About NanoGraf
NanoGraf is an advanced battery material company whose patented silicon-anode technology enables longer-lasting, higher-energy, and higher-power lithium-ion batteries. NanoGraf works with more than 50 companies, including some of the world’s leading consumer electronics, household appliance, and power tool brands and over 12 strategic partners in electric mobility (from startups to Fortune 100s). NanoGraf is a spinout of Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory. Learn more:


Media Contact
Brandon Reid, Anzu Partners for South 8 Technologies

Release Summary

South 8 and NanoGraf collaborate under DIU contract to develop Family of Advanced Standard Batteries (FAStBat) to power military platforms.

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Media Contact
Brandon Reid, Anzu Partners for South 8 Technologies