Ilika Joins Innovate UK LiS Battery Project

September 25, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Ilika announced it's taking part in a three-year project to develop protected anodes for lithium-sulfur (LiS) batteries, led by Johnson Matthey plc and supported by Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). £365,133 of the grant will be used to fund project activities at Ilika. Other partners in the project are Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd, the University of Oxford and the University of Warwick.

This project will develop an innovative protected lithium anode approach, via Ilika’s high-throughput materials development technique, to discover new electrolyte composition options and fabricate a free-standing, lithium-containing protected anode/separator for integration into pouch cells. The novel protected anode will mitigate a commonly experienced problem in lithium-sulfur cells, the so-called polysulfide shuttle effect, leading to enhanced performance cells that can be made with existing cell fabrication methods.

The pouch cells being developed in this project are high capacity, low cost batteries for large scale renewable energy storage and therefore address a distinct market segment to the Internet of Things (IoT) applications for which Ilika’s Stereax™ batteries are designed.

The Ilika Stereax™ roadmap focuses on three main battery requirements: miniaturization, capacity in a small footprint and increased performance. The miniaturization roadmap looks at increasingly smaller footprints at smaller currents (µAh), making them ideal for small sensor driven devices. The capacity roadmap increases the amount of energy for a given active footprint by utilizing Ilika’s patented stacking feature, which allows multiple cells to be stacked on top of one another. The performance roadmap focuses on higher energy density solutions that have additional requirements such as extended temperature range support.

The Stereaxâ„¢ M250 is the first battery which is available for licensing. Ilika has taken the solid state battery concept to the next level of evolution with its expertise in material development. Ilika Stereaxâ„¢ batteries use patented materials and processes enabling superior energy density per battery footprint, up to 40% improvement on current solid state solutions, and increased temperature range support to over 100 degrees C, 30 degrees C higher than existing solid state products.

Commenting on this grant award, Graeme Purdy, Ilika CEO, said: "This project brings together international leading scientists and industrial partners with the resources, skills and experience to deliver and exploit this new concept. The partners have the know-how to design and develop new battery components and take them through to roll to roll electrode fabrication and pouch cell manufacture and evaluation."