Electrolytes for High Energy Density Ultra Capacitors

UT-Battelle, LLC, acting under its Prime Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the management and operation of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is seeking a commercialization partner for new Electrolytes for High Energy Density Ultracapacitors.  The ORNL Technology Transfer Office will accept licensing applications through November 7, 2016.

ORNL researchers are developing a sodium-based electrolyte for ultracapacitors that has the potential to double their energy density. Ultracapacitors are used for applications such as storing energy from renewable sources, stabilizing the electrical grid, and providing bursts of power for lifting equipment and electric vehicles. They could be used in many more ways, but their applicability is constrained by their low energy density. The high-voltage electrolyte could lead to ultracapacitors that operate for much longer times, and small, lightweight ultracapacitors for devices such as phones and watches.  ORNL’s innovation uses sodium salts dissolved in unconventional organic solvents. The new electrolyte is stable when cycled to 4 V and has higher thermal stability. The electrolyte currently used by most all ultracapacitors, in comparison, operates without deterioration at only up to ~2.7 V. Increasing the voltage window by even a small amount leads to a significant increase in energy density because an ultracapacitor’s energy density increases quadratically with voltage.

This technology was originally developed using federal funds and selected for further development under the laboratory's Technology Innovation Program (TIP). TIP supports technology development using royalties from existing technology licenses to accelerate the market readiness of high potential technologies.

License applications will be evaluated based on prospective partners' ability and commitment to successfully commercialize the technology.  If a license is executed, the ORNL researchers developing the technology will be eligible to compete for additional TIP funding to further advance the technology.

Please contact Nestor Franco, Commercialization Manager, Technology Commercialization, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 865.574.0534, francone@ornl.gov with any questions and to obtain a license application for this opportunity.

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