South 8 and NanoGraf to produce batteries using liquefied gas electrolyte for the US Army

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Battery tech firms South 8 Technologies and NanoGraf are collaborating to develop higher-capacity, safer and lighter batteries for the US Army. Under a $6.4-million subcontract with NanoGraf, South 8 will develop a high-rate injection system for its LiGas electrolyte to bolster domestic production of cylindrical lithium-ion batteries.

Today’s soldiers lug around massive amounts of Li-ion batteries—sometimes more than 20 pounds worth—to power all their high-tech gadgets. The risk of poor performance due to extreme weather or physical damage forces them to schlep multiple batteries as backups. South 8 and NanoGraf aim to alleviate these issues by producing a more reliable and lighter battery.

South 8’s LiGas is “a liquefied gas electrolyte that dramatically improves the energy performance, safety, charging speed and cost of lithium-ion batteries.” Applications include defense, aerospace, stationary storage and electric vehicles. Using South 8’s LiGas technology, NanoGraf plans to prototype a high-energy, rugged and scalable 18650 cell design that promises to lighten the load for soldiers in the field and reduce supply chain risks by establishing North American production.

“Our goal is to improve soldier safety, military capabilities, and the domestic lithium-ion battery supply chain,” said Tom Stepien, CEO of South 8. “While today’s lithium-ion batteries struggle with poor capacity in difficult climates, our LiGas electrolyte directly addresses significant pain points by enhancing range and performance in extreme environments, while minimizing fire risk during critical missions.”

“Adding the safety and extreme temperature capabilities of South 8’s LiGas electrolyte to our silicon anode 18650 cells has the potential to yield a powerful product with unique benefits compared to other commercial cells,” said Dr. Francis Wang, CEO of NanoGraf.

“Today’s successful and safe military operations require long-lasting, versatile battery technology,” said José Collazo-Castillo of the Army’s DEVCOM C5ISR Center. “We look forward to seeing how the combination of South 8 and NanoGraf’s technologies can help the US build and produce higher performing, cross-compatible battery cell technology and help fortify the supply chain for the future of national security.”

Source: South 8 Technologies

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