Soteria Battery Innovation Group (BIG) has exclusively licensed and optioned a technology developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed to eliminate thermal runaway in lithium ion batteries due to mechanical damage. The technology complements Soteria’s existing battery safety technology.
Soteria Battery Innovation Group Inc is an advanced technology development and licensing company that has formed a consortium to promote a light, safe and cost-effective architecture for lithium-ion batteries.
The licensed technology is for electrodes and foils for lithium-ion batteries that are designed to break in a pre-defined geometry when the battery is physically damaged, effectively isolating the damaged part. This can minimize the associated generated heat and avoid thermal runaway, or uncontrolled increasing temperature, thus rendering the battery safe.
This technology can dramatically improve battery safety upon mechanical, thermal and electrical damage. This can simplify battery design and lead to higher energy density and lower cost.
—Jianlin Li, a principle investigator of the technology at ORNL
Combining the technology with Soteria’s own current collector technology was selected in 2019 for a $750,000 DOE Technology Commercialization Fund project, “Li-on batteries with Safer Current Collectors,” with support from the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office.
Soteria architecture. Li-ion batteries are made with robust metal current collectors capable of delivering the energy of the entire battery to a defect or dendrite quickly, and thermally unstable separators that cannot withstand the heat generated with these massive current densities. The Soteria architecture will instead use thermally stable separators made from advanced fibers, and combine them with current collectors that are engineered to be unstable under the giant current densities associated with internal shorts. The architecture will provide the same electrical protection as a fuse on the inside of each battery.
The technology will be especially effective in vehicles, where physical damage can occur in automobile accidents and other mechanical events. The market for batteries for electric vehicles is expected to grow to more than 2,000 gigawatt hours by 2030 according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, resulting in more than $200 billion in battery consumption.
Soteria BIG is dedicated to eliminating lithium-ion battery fires.
While our initial innovations to eliminate battery fires came from our own labs, our vision is bigger than we could accomplish on our own. This technology enables us to deliver safety in physical damage situations in large, high power batteries that our original technology might not have addressed.
—Carl Hu, Soteria BIG’s chief technology officer
This option makes the technology immediately available to Soteria BIG Consortium members for R&D and product development. When the option is exercised, a license to practice the technology commercially will be available to the entire industry through the Soteria BIG Consortium.
Soteria’s consortium consists of more than 70 participants including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, NASA, Mercedes, DuPont, Motorola, Bosch and Applied Materials. Participants come from the entire supply chain, including suppliers of raw materials and equipment used to produce Soteria’s battery safety architecture, to component manufacturers, cell and pack manufacturers, and end users. Soteria’s business model both provides a supply chain that is acceptable to the automotive, electronics and battery industries, and also allows access to the technology to any supply chain that an end user might choose.