SiLi-ion - a UCR EPIC Company
“I am particularly attracted to innovative products, services, and projects that have the potential to transform society. This technology has the potential to radically change the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, enabling them to reach the next frontier.”
SiLi-ion’s technology is one of only six fundamentally unique approaches to next-generation battery technologies globally. What sets SiLi-ion apart from its competition is simple: sustainable materials and ease of integration that eliminates the need for extensive capital investments for battery manufacturers.
The company produces a novel high-capacity silicon-carbon “drop-in” additive for Li-ion battery manufacturers that can increase the storage capacity of their devices. While other disruptive silicon-based innovations aim at completely replacing the state-of-the-art graphite anode and hence require a complete re-design or upgrade of the existing factories and battery architecture, SiLi-ion’s vision is intervening at the “raw materials level”. By adding a small amount of our compound (e.g. 10% by weight) in the established graphite electrode fabrication process they can boost the storage capacity of the anode up to 65% with respect to state-of-the-art. This “drop-in” strategy is simple, cost-effective and eliminates the need for extensive capital investments for the battery manufactures.
The company’s commercialization effort is currently supported by the California Energy Commission via a CalSEED Phase I award.
A patent protecting the IP of the production process for the SiLi-ion additive has been filed, and the material technology has been extensively tested at lab-scale and by a third-party battery validation company (Polaris Battery Labs, Oregon, USA). The testing demonstrates the use of SiLi-ion’s compound for the fabrication of high energy-density Lithium-ion batteries. The proprietary technology uses know-how and scalable manufacturing processes and equipment. Unlike our competitors, it does not require exotic materials/processes and can be easily integrated into existing manufacturing. Building on this momentum, Hatch is leading fundraising for a $400,000 seed round to match the grant money currently available to the startup. SiLi-ion’s commercialization effort originally got off the ground through $1.3 million in grants from the California Energy Commission and National Science Foundation.