Silatronix raises $8m to expand battery materials in Asia

Silatronix raises $8m to expand battery materials in Asia

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The capital comes from the Madison, Wisconsin company’s existing investors and two strategic partners in Japan with strong business interests in the lithium battery market, Hitachi Chemical and Inabata & Co.  Inabata will serve as Silatronix’s exclusive distributor to key battery customers across Asia, and Silatronix and Hitachi Chemical will jointly evaluate the potential performance benefits of several OS additive materials with Hitachi Chemical’s LiB products, especially anode materials.

Silatronix has introduced its first commercial product, OS3, an advanced functional solvent that provides multiple benefits to lithium battery performance. OS3 inhibits breakdown of LiPF6, is thermally and electrochemically stable, and has minimal side effects on battery performance.  The company says it is making significant progress with multiple customers, many based in Asia, that cover a range of applications, including consumer electronics, industrial products, automotive, and military.  As part of its operational scale up to commercialize OS3, Silatronix is currently formalizing relationships with strategic suppliers, expanding facilities in its US operation, working with Inabata to increase market presence, and hiring key operating personnel.

Current Li-ion electrolytes are unstable above 60°C and at charge voltages above 4.3 volts. They also exhibit flashpoints around 35°C, and are the major source of the energy released during an extreme Li-ion cell failure. Given these significant limitations, current electrolytes are impeding the development of advanced Li-ion batteries for all applications, including portable products, electric drive vehicles (EDVs) and smart grids.

Organosilicon compounds are generally environmentally friendly, non-flammable, high temperature materials, making them well-suited for use as electrolytes, binders, and coatings in energy storage devices. Recently, the need for improved electrolytes in energy storage devices has led Silatronix to focus on development of unique OS materials for these applications, especially for Li-ion battery products. OS electrolytes are compatible with all lithium (Li) based electrochemical systems, including non-rechargeable batteries, Li-ion, Li-air, and Li-battery/capacitors, and the process of designing the OS electrolytes into a Li battery involves limited changes in the cell design, manufacturing processes and equipment.

“The path to large scale commercialization at Silatronix is increasingly visible,” said Mark Zager, CEO.  “We are helping the market develop batteries with improved safety, performance, and stability.  The Silatronix management team and employees are invigorated by our recent developments.  We’re increasingly optimistic about the prospects for Silatronix in the coming years.”

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