SBIR Phase I: Multilayer Ceramic Electrolyte Membrane (ML-CEM) for a sodium metal-chloride electrochemical cell

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Na4B, LLC
1709 Grandview Drive
Rochester Hills, MI 48306
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to confirm the performance of a novel, freestanding, nano-structured, multilayered ceramic electrolyte membrane (ML-CEM) design. The ML-CEM will be produced from an anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane in a vapor phase method. The Na+ conductive ML-CEM has an open-porousá-alumina layer providing the required structural strength, and a dense, non-porous, nano- to micrometer thick sodium â-alumina layer allowing facile sodium ion transport. The low thickness of the sodium â-alumina layer will provide sufficient ion-conductivity for an operation of the sodium-basedelectrochemical cell at, or even below, room temperature, and will exhibit superior ion-conductivity above 200 °C. Therefore, the ML-CEM based electrochemical cells will exhibit high energy and high power densities and a wide operating temperature range, making sodium batteries to become a viableoption in many stationary and vehicle energy storage applications. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is that ML-CEM will enable low cost electrochemical cell designs. In a stationary application distributed, modular and scalable ML-CEM based sodium batteries will allow electricutilities to shift the power grid operation from peak-power to system energy. This will lead to an improved utilization of the nation?s power grid assets, allows the integration of fluctuating renewable energy sources, enables micro-grid power architecture to improve the stability and reliability of the electric power distribution, and minimizes the risk of cascading power outages. Furthermore, the proliferation of affordable, zero-emission electric vehicles will be supported by high-energy / high-power ML-CEM based batteries. Their robustness and safety, as well as their high calendar and cycle life are providing a significant improvement over today?s electric vehicle batteries.