Alveo Energy—a Bay Area start-up company and Molecular Foundry user—has been awarded $4 million by ARPA-E for their project, "Open Framework Electrode Batteries for Cost-Effective Energy Storage." This venture seeks to develop a new class of batteries based on the pigment Prussian Blue to provide efficient, cost-effective support of renewable energy sources.
"This ARPA-E award is an enormous opportunity for Alveo." says Colin Wessells, CEO and lead researcher for Alveo Energy. "It will allow us to rapidly push our battery technology from the final stages of lab R&D through initial pilot-scale production. "
The new batteries use a family of electrode materials based on a common and inexpensive pigment, Prussian Blue that operate in nontoxic, nonflammable, pH-neutral, water-based electrolytes. During operation of the battery, sodium or potassium ions are transferred in and out of the Prussian Blue analogue electrodes with high reversibility and efficiency.
The result is a safer, more affordable, battery with longer life, higher power and improved energy efficiency than those available today. While Alveo's batteries are not small or lightweight enough for portable electronics, their long cycle life and low cost makes them well suited for stationary applications related to the electric grid. With this ARPA-E funding, Alveo will complete its materials R&D, and scale up production for market testing.