Honors Gallery

Binder-free Electrodes for Lithium-ion Batteries

Award: Excellence in Technology Transfer

Year: 2014

Award Type:

Region: Mid-Continent

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

NREL scientists led by Chunmei Ban have created innovative cathodes and anodes for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that are both stronger and more powerful.

These electron-conducting “nano-ropes” eliminate the need for binders and conductive additives. The new method increases the amount of active material up to 95% by weight. The technology was transferred in 2013 to NanoResearch and SmartEnergi. Prior to the transfer, Ty Ferretti of NREL Technology Transfer Team arranged for the potential licensees to receive training to help understand the technology and its potential under the NREL Commercialization Assistance Program (NCAP) that uses NREL’s licensing revenue to provide 40 hours of free assistance. SmartEnergi is already negotiating with major players in the consumer electronics and auto industries and has a projected market of about $8 billion by 2020.