Argonne has demonstrated achievement in meeting a spectrum of energy storage challenges. The laboratory has amassed a portfolio of more than 125 patented advanced cathode, anode, electrolyte, and additive components for lithium-ion, lithium-air, lithium-sulfur, sodium-ion, and flow batteries.
Licensing agreements—with leading companies including General Motors, BASF, LG Chem, General Electric, and Toda America—to mass produce Argonne’s patented materials for advanced batteries have led to construction of new plants and creation of jobs in the United States.
Helping from the Ground Up
Using lithium carbonate extracted from clay deposits at a Western Lithium USA Corporation mine, Argonne scientists synthesized conventional electrode materials and electrochemically tested them against current industry baseline specifications. Data provided by Argonne helped Western Lithium position itself as a major U.S.-based lithium carbonate supplier to support the rising global demand for lithium expected from the increased use of hybrid and electric vehicles.
Photo Courtesy of General Motors and U.S. Department of Energy
Electrifying the Automotive Market
Seeking to extend electric vehicle range while increasing safety and decreasing price, Argonne scientists invented lithium- and manganese-rich materials able to store significantly more electricity than pre-existing designs. With studies that included using X-rays to watch chemical reactions as they occurred in a lithium-ion battery, scientists produced technology that has been licensed to manufacturers including General Motors, who incorporated it into the Chevy Volt.
Fueling the Economy
Licensing of Argonne battery technology for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and other applications has led to millions of dollars’ worth of new manufacturing facilities and hundreds of new jobs in several U.S. states. Battery performance, longevity, and safety have improved, while increased production of materials for advanced lithium-ion batteries has enhanced U.S. economic competitiveness, energy security, and quality of life.