Indian start-up develops indigenous solid state battery technology for electric vehicles

IBE™ Technologies, founded by Indian battery researchers, aims to cater to the needs of India’s battery space through indigenous technology.

India’s need for advanced Li-Ion batteries is in line with ever growing electric vehicle (EV) battery market claiming a 94% share of the market by shipments. While the global EV market expectation leaps to over $3 billion by 2030, Asia continues to dominate the Li-Ion EV battery sector.

Nevertheless, India’s contribution is very marginal in the battery manufacturing sector. It is estimated that the annual energy demand for LiBs in electric vehicles will exceed 1,000 GWh by 2030. With the power generation demand targeted to the tune of 450 GW via renewables, battery storage demand keeps increasing in India.

Also Read: Lithium-ion battery manufacturing in India

At the moment, Li-Ion cells are being imported for various needs of the country. Central government’s push for Li-Ion cell manufacturing on Indian soil propelled Li-Ion manufacturing portfolio to look for avenues to secure mineral resources of high demand in terms of global ore reserve viz., lithium, cobalt, and nickel.  Although India gears up for equipment design and manufacturing of Li-Ion cells such as tab welding, uniaxial roll press, electrolyte filling, electrode coating and calendaring etc., indigenous Li-Ion cell technology is still not in place and there exists a vacuum for local manufacturing. Hence, a concerted mission to focus on creating a well-rounded ecosystem which might probably provide ample opportunities for everyone involved in Lithium battery manufacturing segment with an expectation to “Make-in-India”. On top of all these efforts, the paramount importance is rendered for methods to recycle used Li-Ion batteries on one hand and on the other, 60% used EV batteries might find a space for secondary storage needs.

About Inventus BioEnergy (IBE)

IBE, the Tamil Nadu based start-up was co-founded earlier this year by Dr Harinipriya Seshadri, alongside with a couple of acclaimed battery technology researchers. One of the co-founders is a Lithium-ion battery and Supercapacitor expert who has spent more than two decades teaching at Universities in India, Japan, UK, USA and Malaysia, and as a technology consultant. Dr Harinipriya came to IBE™ with over 17 years of experience in industry and academic sectors including Laird Technologies, General Motors, India Science Lab, Bangalore, IIT Jodhpur and SRM Institute of Science and Technology.

IBEhas patented and in-house developed four different energy storage technologies.

This article talks about their all solid state battery technology for electric vehicles that uses a Protected Lithium Metal Cassette (PLC) as anode.

Protected Lithium Cassette

How will it work?

PLC can be used as an anode cassette in lithium metal-based all-solid-state rechargeable cell (battery) system, which includes Li/LTMO (LTMO – Lithiated transition metal oxides), Lithium-air semi fuel cells, Li-air rechargeable batteries and Lithium metal/Sulfur (Li-S).

Talking about the tech, Dr Harinipriya explains that PLC is a novel proprietary technology developed in-house at IBE®™ and is 100% indigenous. It utilizes metallic lithium and hence the specific capacity of any energy storage device equipped with PLC will have high specific capacity and performance.

The salient features of the above Li-air Semi-fuel cell design employing IBE’s proprietary Protected Lithium Anode Cassette are:

Plug n Drive using Replaceable Cassettes – PLC is a plug-n-drive type technology. PLC anode upon depletion of Lithium during charge/discharge process can be easily replaced with a new cassette at petrol pumps or designated switching stations, eradicating the time required for recharging the battery. The state of charge can be monitored on the dashboard like a fuel gauge.

Compatibility – It is a user compatible technology that does not require any basic or advanced change in the battery design or EV powertrain.

Safety – PLC helps to bring back Lithium metal anode safely. Presents no risk of thermal run-away or fire hazard and hence can be used in aqueous electrolytes, retains good stability on ambient air/humidity.

Storage – Can be stored on-shelf without any preventive packing.

No BMS – PLC works in the absence of Battery Management System (BMS) as no overcharge or discharge monitoring is necessary, thereby reducing the cost associated with BMS development for the batteries. 

Closed loop operation – Cassette is reusable once upon consuming lithium. Lithium deposited as by-product in cathode is completely recyclable.

Other work in battery technology

Among other technologies for energy storage, IBE has also developed an internal hybrid of Li-Ion battery and Supercapacitor, called a Capattery that offers a high energy and power density, and could cater to the needs of EV, stationary and space applications. Interestingly, a Capattery can charge-like a battery, discharge-like a supercapacitor; charge like a supercapacitor and discharge like a battery. This dual feature enables it to be a universal power source for wide range of applications.

More about IBE’s work can be found on their website or downloaded here. The start-up is prepared to offer open licenses from their proprietary energy storage technologies, especially for the Indian entrepreneurs and investors.

This article has been written by Dr Harinipriya Seshadri, CTO and Head of Operations – IBE.

Also Read: Trends in Reuse and Recycling of Lithium-ion batteries

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