Nanotech Energy is developing cutting-edge non-flammable energy storage solutions for the electric and portable electronics markets. This technology is based on the wonder material graphene that is established as the thinnest, strongest, and most conductive material. Our mission at Nanotech Energy is to harness the power of graphene into world-changing battery solutions.
Lithium-ion batteries have transformed the way society uses energy. They can hold a lot of charge in a small volume, allowing cell phones, laptop computers, and even electric cars to exist. So, they are closely related to our daily lives but they have obvious safety issues. A battery, if shorted, could become a fireball bomb nearly impossible to extinguish using conventional techniques. Now, Nanotech Energy has developed a game-changing non-flammable battery limiting the potential of a flame or explosion and providing a safer battery solution.
Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms and is one of the strongest materials ever known, yet is completely flexible. A single sheet of graphene sufficient in size to cover an entire American football field would weigh just a fraction of a gram. This vast surface area associated with this small amount of graphene can be squeezed inside an AA battery, enabling the design of new energy-storage devices with the ability to store massive amounts of charge. With excellent mechanical properties, graphene can also withstand the volume changes of the battery electrodes during charge and discharge, reducing the chances of an internal short circuit leading to a safer and more powerful battery. Graphene is also an excellent conductor of electricity, leading to batteries with lower internal resistance while providing an effective solution to overheating during battery charging.
While graphene plays an important role in our battery, there is another component in the battery that is critical to this challenge: the electrolyte. The electrolyte is made by dissolving a lithium salt in the proper solvent, whereas additives are often used to improve the cycling stability of the battery. Unfortunately, standard lithium-ion batteries use a solvent-based on a combination of linear and cyclic chain carbonates that are very flammable and would catch fire immediately with a short circuit or an overcharge.
It became clear to us that we need to replace this solvent entirely with something else that can afford the operation at high temperatures. After trying a large number of solvents and additive materials, we came up with a new electrolyte that not only is stable but also is made from inexpensive materials, easy to manufacture, and, of course, is non-flammable.
In February 2018, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported over 25,000 overheating and battery fire incidents involving more than 400 types of consumer products over a five-year period. Clearly, building safer batteries will be critical for the future of energy storage technology. The improved properties of graphene electrodes combined with the thermal stability of the electrolyte prevents the battery from catching fire, providing a promising solution to the long-standing safety problems of lithium-ion batteries.
In addition to its resistance to fire, the new battery has the ability to operate over a wide temperature range (from -20 to +60˚C) and is practical for use in all weather conditions. We believe Nanotech batteries to be a game-changer for consumer electronics and the electric car market.