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Vehicles

Advanced Silicon-Graphene Anode Materials for High Energy Batteries

Company Name: XG Sciences
Program Office: Vehicles
Location: Lansing, MI
Website: http://xgsciences.com/
Email: info@xgsciences.com
Award Amount: $150,000
Project Term: 12 months
Project Status: Active
Participating Lab(s): Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

CRITICAL NEED

Electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are increasingly popular, but still make up only a tiny fraction of new car and truck sales. While these vehicles save money on fuel costs, lower vehicle sticker prices and improved electric range comparable to traditional internal-combustion vehicles is expected to significantly increase market electric vehicle adoption.

Adding more batteries to a vehicle to extend its range is not the answer, because that also makes the vehicle heavier and more expensive. So increasing battery energy density and decreasing battery costs are critical elements for increasing market acceptance of electric vehicles. Improving battery performance has other applications, too, including stationary energy storage by utilities and improved performance for consumer electronics.

XG Sciences has pioneered graphene nanotechnology and silicon-graphene anode materials that can improve the energy density and cost of high-energy lithium-ion batteries. XG Sciences forecasts that it can deliver its advanced silicon-graphene anode material at prices competitive on an energy basis with today’s graphite anodes using its existing sales channels. XG Sciences’ silicon-graphene anode materials can be tailored for capacities from 500 mAh/g to more than 2,000 mAh/g providing application to a wide range of energy storage applications. Today these anode materials can enable Li-ion cells with energy densities in the range of 350 Wh / kg and XG Sciences is working to improve the cycling performance to meet 1,000 charging cycles, a goal established under DOE’s EV Everywhere program to encourage more widespread adoption of electric vehicle technology.


PROJECT INNOVATION + ADVANTAGES

XG Sciences aims to improve Li-ion cell energy density and performance over multiple charging cycles, ensuring that these batteries deliver stable, long-life performance. By manipulating the silicon-graphene composite, XG Sciences has already improved capacity retention for their battery material technology to meet early market requirements. XG Sciences has found that the silicon-graphene interface of its anode composite is critical for increasing performance over multiple cycles. The company will work with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory staff to characterize and study the interface using advanced microscope and X-ray analysis, enabling a better understanding of the structure-performance relationship that will allow XG Sciences to optimize the material for improved performance. The company will incorporate new developments into its product commercialization roadmap and production plans. XG Sciences believes its process is compatible with high-volume production that can achieve national battery technology goals.


POTENTIAL IMPACT

Economy:

Lower battery costs increase consumer access to electric vehicles and can also carry over to other energy applications. For instance, utilities can use batteries to store electricity when demand is low and release that energy to the grid when demand peaks.

Environment:
Electric vehicles are more efficient than gasoline engines when it comes to converting energy into movement, so electric cars use less energy per mile. Electric vehicles out-perform their gasoline equivalents on an emissions basis everywhere in the United States, regardless of how clean or polluting local electricity sources are. Therefore, electric vehicles remain a key tool for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Security:
Reducing demand for oil fosters energy independence. Because oil supply and demand are tightly linked in the global economy, reductions in domestic oil demand have an outsize impact in isolating consumers from global price spikes.


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