A stealthy startup is making headlines with its claim that it has developed a new type of lithium ion battery—one that is dramatically less expensive and safer than anything currently on the market.
The startup, 24M, came out of stealth mode earlier this week. Founder Yet-Ming Chiang ’80, SCD ’85 says his team has developed a way to increase the size of its battery’s electrode while also removing more than 80% of its non-energy storing materials by using nanotechnology. Chiang is the Kyocera Professor of Ceramics in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Unlike traditional lithium ion batteries, which are manufactured with solid electrodes, 24M’s batteries employ a “semi-solid” electrode. The company claims its battery design simplifies the manufacturing process, requiring fewer physical and financial resources, and can be produced in one-fifth of the time of traditional batteries.
Using this new manufacturing process, 24M has produced 9,000 sample batteries that it is shipping to potential partners and customers for field testing. The company is focusing initially on the utilities and commercial buildings markets, and possibly electric vehicles. Chiang’s interest in transportation applications is longstanding: he spun 24M out of his previous company, A123 Systems, which produced lithium ion batteries for that purpose. According to Chiang, the idea behind A123 was ahead of its time, but he is optimistic that the market is now ready for 24M’s innovative battery design.
“For me,” says Chiang, “the ultimate win would be if this would become the de facto standard for battery production around the world.”
Learn more about the technology at 24M’s website.
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