FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Portland, Oregon September 10, 2015 – eChemion today announced that it has formally emerged from stealth mode to introduce its first product, a chemical energy storage solution for Redox Flow Batteries. The company, founded by Alex Bistrika, PhD, Chemical Engineering and Pavel Mardilovich, PhD, Material Science and Engineering, has invented a patent-pending treatment process licensed from Oregon State University that greatly enhances the performance characteristics of carbon felt and cloth used in the electrode stacks of Redox Flow Batteries. Flow batteries are ideally suited for use with renewable energy sources and are a critical piece in the sustainable economy.
Energy storage devices use carbon materials as the electrodes as a way to harvest the energy from the anolyte and catholyte. Carbon materials begin to degrade in these environments immediately upon activation leading to lower operating current and eventual failure of the electrode stack. However, battery manufacturers using eChemion treated carbon materials would notice a dramatic decrease in carbon degradation improving the life span of the electrode stack from 4 to 5 years to over 20 years of service.
Additionally, because the degradation has been drastically reduced, the stack is able to operate at a much higher current for a longer period of time. For battery manufacturers this could dramatically improve their gross margin and profits, while customers enjoy storage solutions that last 20 plus years and won't need to be replaced every 5 years.
"eChemion is committed to using science to create a more sustainable future by smartly exacting more power, efficiency and life out of today's batteries," said Bill Kesselring, CEO of eChemion, "To meet the energy needs of tomorrow we must do more with what we have and eChemion addresses this vision."
See us at OBEST's BEST FEST on September 10th, the Pacific Northwest Energy Storage Symposium September 10th-11th, and the Electrical Energy Storage Association Technology Symposium held in Portland from September 21st-24th.
Hybrid flow batteries, such as a zinc-bromine system, rely on plating the metal on one of the electrodes. The other side of the cell is charged like in a normal flow battery. As mentioned before, the plating is never perfectly even, and these batteries require an occasional “stripping run”, which completely discharges the battery, removing all of the metal from the electrode. Additionally, there can be issues, such as growth of dendrite in case of zinc plating. While this issue had been resolved for the zinc-bromine batteries, it has doomed efforts of Plurion to commercialize a zinc-cerium system a few years back. Naturally, plating the metal places an upper limit on the energy that a battery can store before the electrolyte flow is blocked. But the tradeoff of this is a higher energy density, which comes from both the positive and negative ions in the solution participating in the energy storage reaction.
But true or hybrid, flow batteries can be fully charged and discharged on the daily basis, to follow the daily fluctuations of power generation and demand, with little fade in capacity. In theory, these batteries should last over 10,000 cycles 2, which amounts to over 25 years of daily use. In practice, however, their lifetimes are significantly less. A major issue, that has been only partially addressed, is the durability of the electrodes. While they do not store the energy, the aggressive chemistry of charging and discharging tends to corrode even the chemically resistant carbon (typical material of choice, given its low cost and high resilience). The result is flow batteries that perform short of their potential, leading to increased maintenance costs and slower adoption rates in the energy storage market.
About eChemion— eChemion provides patent-pending technology that greatly enhances the performance characteristics of carbon materials, improving chemical and material stability, and reducing environmental waste. For more information on eChemion, visit http://www.echemion.com