The PolyPlus lithium-water battery has achieved the highest energy density ever recorded – 1,300 Wh/kg, far more than the maximum delivered by current lithium-ion batteries.
The DOE seems to have turned the funding faucet back on. PolyPlus announced this week that it has been awarded $8.99 million to complete development of its Protected Lithium Electrode (PLE), the critical component in its high-energy density lithium-water, lithium-sulfur and lithium-air batteries. Time magazine included the company’s lithium-water battery on its 2011 list of the year’s “50 Best Inventions.”
The grant is part of the DOE's Investments in Innovative Manufacturing Technologies program, and PolyPlus is one of only 13 companies that received an award this time around, out of a pool of 1,500 that submitted letters of interest and 250 that eventually submitted applications.
“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 – 1,300 Wh/kg, far more than the maximum delivered by current lithium-ion batteries. Aimed at the marine market, the battery should be ideal for underwater robots or unmanned underwater vehicles. The company is currently testing samples of the battery, expects it to be commercially available in 2013, and already has a list of interested customers.
PolyPlus is also developing a lithium-air rechargeable battery and a new generation of lithium-sulfur batteries, both of which have a lot of promise for EV applications.
“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.”