Advano’s Recent Funding Boost Propels Lithium-Silicon Battery Technology

May 20, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

Advano enters into a partnership with Mitsui Kinzoku in order to drive its silicon battery solution forward.

Advano is a New-Orleans based company which was founded by Alexander Girau in 2016. The start-up company uses its extensive expertise in nanotechnology and knowledge of chemical engineering principles to enable the steady advancement of the renewable energy revolution. Today there is a growing demand for more sustainable technologies that reduce the impact on the environment. Investors the world over are looking to support the growth and development of companies capable of jumpstarting paradigm shifts in renewable energy. At present, Advano is making headway in delivering a streamlined and scalable solution in the form of supercharged lithium-silicon batteries. In support of the development of this technology, the company received $18.5 million Series A funding.


A Graphite-Free Silicon Solution

Graphite is an essential component used in the creation of lithium-ion batteries but is also used in other devices, from laptops, smartphones, and electric cars. The sourcing of graphite and the pollution produced when processed during manufacturing is known to cause damaging effects to the environment. 

To tackle this problem and to find a battery-based solution with high energy density, Advano created A-SiFx. Silicon can store 10 times more energy than graphite, allowing a silicon battery to be smaller, more cost-effective, and able to deliver enhanced current performance at the same size. The A-SiFx solution effectively increases the energy density of lithium-ion batteries while removing a toxic silicon manufacturing process. The solution utilizes waste silicon produced during solar panel or semiconductor manufacturing. This serves to protect the environment and the dedicated engineers working on such battery technologies. 


A graphite and silicon anode.
A graphite and silicon anode. Image used courtesy of Advano.


"The greatest problem of our world is climate change, and Advano is helping to solve it by making energy more sustainable, cleaner, and cheaper through our silicon-based batteries. To fix the problem, however, the solution must scale," said Alexander Girau in a news release

Not only does the incorporation of silicon into lithium-ion batteries proffer safety and reliability with regard to cycle-life, but the innovation also meets industry needs concerning material expansion, cost, and drop-in manufacturing scalability. 

Advano enters into a partnership with Mitsui Kinzoku in order to drive its silicon battery solution forward.


Mitsui Kinzoku Backs Advano’s Silicon-Powered Steam Train

Mitsui Kinzoku is a company built upon the vast expertise of “materials intelligence”. Mitsui manufactures and sells functional engineered materials and electronic materials. The company also handles the smelting of nonferrous metal, development of mineral resources, recycling of precious metals, and the manufacturing and sale of automotive parts/components. 


Mitsui Kinzoku are forerunners in materials intelligence.
Mitsui Kinzoku are forerunners in materials intelligence. Image used courtesy of Mitsui Kinzoku.


The Japan-based manufacturing giant entered into a partnership with Advano. The company’s SBI Material Innovation Fund headed up the funding round along with two investment firms, Tony Fadell's Future Shape and PeopleFund. Peter Thiel's, Thiel Capital, DCVC, and Y Combinator were other investors who participated in the funding round. among others. Advano secured $18.5 million in Series A funding for further development of their silicon-powered solutions. 

Whether Advano’s silicon-based battery technology will revolutionize the market remains to be seen. If successful, the technology will be used in everything from electrical vehicles to portable consumer electronics.