24M’s cell technology promises to halve lithium-ion battery costs

By Editor


Cambridge, Massachusetts, -based 24M has unveiled a semisolid lithium-ion cell. The new energy storage solution will, the company claims, “enable a new, cost-effective class of the lithium-ion battery”.

According to a statement, the battery will not only improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries but also bring their cost down by half.

The conventional methods to reduce costs of li-ion battery included upping volumes by means of large-scale facilities, or trying new chemistries. 24M says it has chosen a different path to achieve the same objective.

“24M’s semisolid lithium-ion is the most significant advancement in technology in more than two decades and combines an overhaul in battery cell design with a series of manufacturing innovations … The technology will accelerate the global adoption of affordable energy storage,” the company has stated.

The key innovation in cell design in 24M’s battery is the semisolid thick electrode. The electrode has been developed by Dr Yet-Ming Chiang, the chief scientist of 24M at MIT.

Existing design of the lithium-ion battery involves a sizable part of inactive, non-charge carrying materials such as metals and plastics within the casing of a cell.

The semisolid thick electrode eliminates “more than 80 percent of these inactive materials and leads to five-fold increase in active layer thickness compared with traditional design.

The thick electrodes also help to store more energy, and improve the performance of the battery and its cost.

The new design also brings about drastic reduction in time for manufacture. It takes one-fifth of the time of a conventional battery, the statement says.

This is brought about by eliminating manufacturing processes including binding, drying and solvent recovery. In turn, the capital investment on a manufacturing unit is reduced to a tenth that of conventional units.

Further, 24M claims that solvent-free manufacturing of its semisolid electrode-based design makes the cell more easily recyclable than existing li-ion batteries.

“By 2020 our battery costs will be less than $100 a kilowatt-hour,” Throop Wilder, the CEO of 24M, said.

24M was founded in 2010 and has since raised $50 million in private capital in Series A and B rounds from Charles River Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners and industrial partners.

The US Department of Energy also awarded the company a $4.5-million grant. According to 24M, its new technology is currently undergoing customer trials with large, global integrators of power systems for the grid.

Ajith Kumar S

[email protected]

Latest News