Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI) has announced that had completed testing of its lithium ion battery cells containing Altairnano's nano-structured lithium titanate electrode materials. Altairnano's battery product application labs, with rapid prototyping and battery testing capabilities, is expected to be fully equipped and operational and to have its first battery cells manufactured by the end of January. Their press release states:
"The test results demonstrated that the performance of these lithium ion battery cells exceed the system-level power requirements set forth by the U.S. Council for Automotive Research FreedomCAR Energy Storage System Performance Goals for hybrid electric vehicle (HEVs), as well as those requirements published by major U.S. automakers," said Evan House, Ph.D., Program Director, Altairnano's Advanced Materials & Power Systems business unit."
The battery cells using Altairnano's nano-structured lithium titanate electrode materials in battery cell tests developed for HEV applications demonstrate a useable state-of-charge range twice that of conventional nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries presently used in hybrid electric vehicles. Nano-structured lithium titanate electrode materials offer a near-term promise of lithium ion batteries that exhibit rapid charge and discharge, longer cycle life and more inherently safe performance than either currently available nickel metal hydride or lithium ion batteries. These results support the feasibility of a power lithium ion battery pack half the size of those currently being tested for HEV applications.
"We believe this phase of our testing program provides enough data to demonstrate that lithium-ion batteries utilizing our nano-structured battery electrode materials can have both the energy and power densities that exceed those of the nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries currently being used in HEVs," commented Altairnano President and CEO Alan J. Gotcher, Ph.D. "In our meetings with members of the automotive industry in the U.S. and abroad, we have been told that power-based lithium-ion batteries with the ability to discharge and charge rapidly, combined with greater cycle life and abuse tolerance, are desirable for the future of hybrid vehicles. ....
"The power of Altair's cell was first demonstrated and published in the September 2004 edition of the advanced energy industry standard, Journal of Power Sources. In that paper, authored by Dr. Du Pasquier and colleagues of the Rutgers University Energy Storage Group, battery cells using Altairnano's nano-structured battery electrodes demonstrated a three-minute full recharge and more than 9,000 cycles of sequential three-minute, 100 percent, recharges and discharges, validating the superior cycle life characteristics of Altairnano's nano-materials, when compared to traditional lithium ion batteries with a cycle life of 300 to 500 recharges and discharges.
Altairnano is a leading supplier and innovator of advanced ceramic nanomaterial technology.
This is yet another example of the improvements being made in battery technology through the use of nano-technology on the electrodes. Although they plan on producing prototype batteries this month, I do not think that Altair has any plans to produce batteries commercially, rather they will license their technology to battery manufacturers.
Nano-based Lithium Battery for Hybrids A Step Closer, press release via EV World, January 17, 2006
Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. Reno, Nevada