Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Firefly Energy Awarded Patent for Innovative Battery

Abstract:
Firefly Energy has received a U.S. patent for a lead acid battery technology that it believes has the potential to revolutionize the $16 billion worldwide lead acid battery market

Firefly Energy Awarded Patent for Innovative Battery

Posted on January 18, 2006

Firefly Energy has received a U.S. patent for a new lead acid battery technology that it believes has the potential to revolutionize the existing $16 billion worldwide lead acid battery market as well as serve applications like hybrid electric vehicles which historically aren’t suitable for lead acid batteries.

The Peoria, IL-based company, which was formed to create the next generation of lead acid battery technology based on a material sciences innovation discovered by Caterpillar Inc., said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued patent number 6,979,513, titled, "Battery Including Carbon Foam Current Collectors." The patent was awarded on December 27, 2005.

The invention is a battery comprised of an electrical current collector constructed of carbon or lightweight graphite foam. This foam exhibits a sizeable increase in surface area for chemical reactions to take place and eliminates the need for heavy lead plates found in traditional batteries. The graphite material resists corrosion and sulfation build-up, thus contributing to longer battery life and is lighter in weight than today’s lead acid batteries.

Firefly Chief Scientist Kurtis C. Kelley developed the technology while serving as senior research scientist in the advanced materials division of Caterpillar’s R&D center.

Kelley was assigned the problem of pursuing increased performance for lead-acid batteries used by Caterpillar’s product groups. The challenges that Kelley faced were manifold. First among them were how to address the main performance challenges of a lead acid battery:

  • Short life caused by corrosion (of the battery’s positive plate) and sulfation (of the battery’s negative plate).
  • Removing the bottlenecks to realizing the theoretical power and capacity of the lead acid chemistry itself.

“Since Kurt, an accomplished material scientist, had never designed a battery before, his problem-solving approach was unconstrained by the conventional battery wisdom held by lead acid battery technologists,” says Edward F. Williams, CEO and a co-founder of Firefly Energy.

Performance improvements in lead acid batteries are realized through better utilization of surface area, he adds. The overwhelming restriction to lead acid battery efficiency to this point has been the lack of interface area between the active chemistry and the electrodes. Today, the chemistry is capable of delivering approximately 170 Watt Hours per Kilogram (Whr/kg), yet lead acid batteries only average around 30 Whr/kg. Up to now, achieving a higher surface area within a given lead-acid battery box required the addition of more and thinner lead electrodes. However, lead electrodes corrode, so increasing surface area by putting thinner lead electrodes in the battery increases corrosion and decreases battery life.

“By removing the corrosive heavy lead grids and replacing them with a graphite foam, Kurt Kelley’s invention has helped unleash the innate power of lead acid chemistry,” adds Williams. “It introduces a material that doesn’t corrode and enables the weights and sizes of lead acid batteries to be reduced significantly.”

####


(Ed.'s note: I asked about the "nano inside" and was told "The nanotechnology application at Firefly Energy pertains to the battery’s grid coating process." referring to the nanoscale nature of the coating. For more on this topic, see Firefly battery technology earns powerful backing.)

Media Contact:
Dave Reiners
847-279-0022, x233
dave.reiners@techimage.com

Copyright © Firefly Energy

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Possible Futures

Advances in priming B cell immunity against HIV pave the way to future HIV vaccines, shows quartet of new studies May 17th, 2024

International research team uses wavefunction matching to solve quantum many-body problems: New approach makes calculations with realistic interactions possible May 17th, 2024

Aston University researcher receives £1 million grant to revolutionize miniature optical devices May 17th, 2024

Gene therapy relieves back pain, repairs damaged disc in mice: Study suggests nanocarriers loaded with DNA could replace opioids May 17th, 2024

Materials/Metamaterials/Magnetoresistance

How surface roughness influences the adhesion of soft materials: Research team discovers universal mechanism that leads to adhesion hysteresis in soft materials March 8th, 2024

Nanoscale CL thermometry with lanthanide-doped heavy-metal oxide in TEM March 8th, 2024

Focused ion beam technology: A single tool for a wide range of applications January 12th, 2024

Catalytic combo converts CO2 to solid carbon nanofibers: Tandem electrocatalytic-thermocatalytic conversion could help offset emissions of potent greenhouse gas by locking carbon away in a useful material January 12th, 2024

Announcements

Virginia Tech physicists propose path to faster, more flexible robots: Virginia Tech physicists revealed a microscopic phenomenon that could greatly improve the performance of soft devices, such as agile flexible robots or microscopic capsules for drug delivery May 17th, 2024

Diamond glitter: A play of colors with artificial DNA crystals May 17th, 2024

Finding quantum order in chaos May 17th, 2024

Oscillating paramagnetic Meissner effect and Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition in cuprate superconductor May 17th, 2024

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Getting drugs across the blood-brain barrier using nanoparticles March 3rd, 2023

Study finds nanomedicine targeting lymph nodes key to triple negative breast cancer treatment: In mice, nanomedicine can remodel the immune microenvironment in lymph node and tumor tissue for long-term remission and lung tumor elimination in this form of metastasized breast cance May 13th, 2022

Metasurfaces control polarized light at will: New research unlocks the hidden potential of metasurfaces August 13th, 2021

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Closing of Agreement with Takeda November 27th, 2020

Energy

Development of zinc oxide nanopagoda array photoelectrode: photoelectrochemical water-splitting hydrogen production January 12th, 2024

Shedding light on unique conduction mechanisms in a new type of perovskite oxide November 17th, 2023

Inverted perovskite solar cell breaks 25% efficiency record: Researchers improve cell efficiency using a combination of molecules to address different November 17th, 2023

The efficient perovskite cells with a structured anti-reflective layer – another step towards commercialization on a wider scale October 6th, 2023

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project