Dr. Kenan Sahin, President/Founder of TIAX LLC, announced that effective May 1, TIAX's Advanced Battery Materials & Design Division, a recognized leader in the field, will become a separate company, CAMX Power LLC, to be collocated with TIAX and operating as its subsidiary.
CAMX Power will focus on licensing, customer support, and further enhancing its high energy and high power cathode material, CAM-7™ for lithium-ion batteries. It will continue the development of other cell components and expand its work on battery safety technologies. CAMX Power will also engage in targeted services, co-development and sales and marketing partnerships.
CAMX Power will be one of the largest independent lithium-ion battery materials and design entities in the US. Its extensive and modern end-to-end development facilities include powder production ranging in scale from kilograms to tons, materials properties characterization, electrochemical characterization in coin cells and in full-sized multi-Ah cells fabricated in its state-of-the-art cell prototyping facility, and safety technology development. Its multidisciplinary staff brings together deep experience and expertise in the development, scale-up, and technical marketing of advanced battery technologies.
"Electrification of light duty vehicles has been a passion and a cause for me," said Dr. Sahin, the founder of CAMX Power who will serve as its interim President. "Since the founding of TIAX in 2002, I have dedicated my time, energies and financial resources to the realization of this objective, the key to which is a low-cost lithium-ion battery that has a range of 200 miles, and the key to which is the cathode material." Dr. Sahin further stated, "If we are to effectively deal with CO2 emissions to protect our environment, we need to move CO2 from the tailpipes of vehicles to the smokestacks of power plants where it is possible to capture and contain CO2 emissions. That can only be done with the electrification of the drivetrain."
"CAM-7 offers the highest energy and power density at the cell-level for lithium-ion batteries compared to all materials available today," said Dr. Suresh Sriramulu, the Company’s CTO. "Lithium-ion batteries with CAM-7 can be smaller, lighter and cheaper than today’s batteries. Backed by a strong intellectual property portfolio, CAM-7 represents a platform technology with significant head-room for continued enhancement and customization for different applications."
CAM-7 has been in development for over a decade with over 250 person years with commensurate investment. The primary challenges with nickel-class materials have been resolved. It is market-ready, having already entered the sampling and qualification process. CAM-7 is well suited for the automotive market and the high end of the portable power market. CAM-7-based lithium-ion batteries can provide the extended run time that end-users are seeking. For automotive applications, CAM-7 based batteries have the potential to meet the 200 mile range target, while being cost competitive.
"The portable power markets are growing rapidly, and the demand for electric and hybrid cars is poised to expand dramatically with almost every car producer now having a line of electric or plug-in hybrids. The shift to high-energy cells is occurring. By 2020 the size of the market for cathode materials is expected to exceed six billion dollars," said Dr. Brian Barnett, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Relations. He further stated, "Since there are only a few chemistries available, and since the development cycles of new materials are measured in a decade or more, we feel CAM-7 will take its rightful place as the material of choice for lithiumion batteries. Our company has developed extensive cell design capabilities which we will put to the service of our licensees so they can support their battery making customers."
CAM-7 has been scaled up to two metric tons per year in an in-house facility and then up to 50 metric tons per year in a modular plant located in Rowley, MA, further expandable to 300 metric tons. "Because the synthesis at the lab-scale is identical to the synthesis at the Rowley plant, we can meet customer requirements rapidly and provide license holders the detailed support needed for their much larger scale production volumes," said Boyd Bucher, COO. He continued, "Existing cathode plants in the US and elsewhere can produce CAM-7 with minimal adaptation, as we have demonstrated in our own plant. Thus, existing producers can license CAM-7 and use CAMX Power’s facilities to produce powder for material qualification and initial production even as the markets mature."
While lithium-ion batteries are safe with literally billions in use, the safety bar is especially high for automotive use. "The key to achieving even higher safety is not to reduce their energy density," said Dr. Sahin. "It is better to tackle the safety assurance at the system level much like how gasoline (with a much higher energy density) is handled allowing end-users to experience the advantages of higher energy density, namely, longer runtime, higher mileage, and smaller and lighter batteries." He stated that TIAX has been a pioneering company in the development of battery safety technologies, recognized by both the Department of Energy and the National Transportation Safety Board. Such technologies will enable CAM-7 based cells to meet next generation requirements cost-effectively.
"The quality of the Advanced Battery Materials & Design Division of TIAX and its great potential for impact has long been recognized by the key entities in industry and government. I am greatly excited that this division now as an independent company, CAMX Power, is well poised to make a transformational impact. I am fully committed to enable this goal," concluded Dr. Sahin.