AquaLith Advanced Materials Licenses Lithium-Ion Battery Technology Developed at University of Maryland
AquaLith Advanced Materials has exclusively licensed a portfolio of lithium-ion battery patents from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). The technology, which was awarded the UMD's Invention of the Year Award, is based on the work of Prof. Chunsheng Wang, the Robert Franklin and Frances Riggs Wright Distinguished Chair in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at UMD, in collaboration with Kang Xu, the ARL Fellow at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.
The technology utilized in these batteries allows for the storage of significantly more energy and offers lower production costs since they are formulated without transition metals. The highly concentrated aqueous electrolytes have been demonstrated to work at temperatures below -50C, which enables outdoor applications at the north and south poles. Additionally, the water-based electrolyte dramatically reduces the risk of fire in the event of a short circuit. The technology includes a new ultra-high energy cathode, a novel silicon anode and an aqueous electrolyte.
AquaLith’s development team is working out of space at UMD in College Park while the company builds its headquarters and factory at a site, yet to be announced, along the I95 corridor between Riverdale and Baltimore, Maryland.
“I am delighted to be working with Ted Olsen and Greg Cooper as a co-founder of AquaLith Advanced Materials, Inc.,” said Prof. Wang. “Greg and Ted are successful entrepreneurs who have years of experience building technology companies. The battery inventions developed in my lab will help enable renewable energy for consumer electronics and transportation. Commercialization of these products will have a profound positive impact on the performance of batteries over the next few years.”
“We believe Dr. Wang has created breakthrough technology that has the opportunity to significantly reduce the cost and dramatically improve the performance of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries,” said Ted Olsen, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our plan is to grow the company and create high technology, renewable energy jobs in the state of Maryland.”
AquaLith manufactures next-generation batteries and battery materials. The company has developed new material chemistries and is building manufacturing capacity. AquaLith enables consumer electronic devices and electric vehicles to spend significantly less time charging their batteries. These new technologies are safer, higher energy density, less expensive and operate efficiently down to very low temperatures. The first commercial product is a cathode material that demonstrates 60% improvement over state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries and doesn’t contain nickel or cobalt. The company was founded in 2020 and is based in Columbia, Maryland. AquaLith brings significantly enhanced battery chemistry to the lithium-ion battery industry. The intellectual property was developed by the University of Maryland and the Army Research Laboratory. This patent portfolio enables safer, higher energy, less expensive, more sustainable batteries. AquaLith’s capabilities significantly expand lithium-ion energy density beyond anything currently on the market. The technology was recognized by UMD’s 2020 Invention of the Year awards. The company is privately held and working to complete its initial round of financing.
About the University of Maryland
The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 41,000 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 60 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.9 billion operating budget and secures $560 million annually in external research funding. For more information about the University of Maryland, College Park, visit www.umd.edu.
Published April 22, 2021