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Startup Safe-Li to commercialize new battery separator tech that prevents thermal runaway


Pennsylvania-based venture capital firm Green Swan Partners (GSP) has reached an agreement with Skysong Innovations, the technology transfer arm of Arizona State University (ASU), granting GSP the exclusive option to finalize commercial rights to ASU’s fire-safe battery technologies.

The technologies were invented by ASU Regents’ Professor Dr. Jerry Lin, who is also the Chief Scientist of the startup Safe-Li, which will commercialize the technologies.

“A lot of work has been done by others to solve the thermal runaway problem in lithium-based batteries,” said Dr. Jerry Lin. “Most of these require a change in the battery manufacturing process which would require new large-scale investments and re-tooling. We focused our approach on integrating our technology into existing battery manufacturing systems. By doing this, we can leverage the existing manufacturing infrastructure and scale up commercialization and deployment at a much faster rate.”

Lin’s approach yielded technologies for both lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries. ASU’s technology for lithium-ion batteries is a patent-pending inorganic ceramic separator composed of a zeolite material. Lin’s technology for lithium metal batteries includes inorganic separators and an intra- and inter-particle pore structure. GSU says these technologies prevent thermal runaways and fire from dendrite breakthrough, and have been “successfully demonstrated at a coin-cell level.”

According to GSP, Safe-Li is “now engaging with OEM partners, battery manufacturers and others in the battery and electrification value chain.” The company expects the technologies to be available in smaller configurations of up to 1 Ah in 2022, and larger configurations of 10-100 Ah by 2024.

Source: Green Swan Partners