Aionics Is All-In On Next-Generation Electrolytes: International Battery Seminar 2023
Aionics is going all-in on designing and commercializing next-generation electrolytes for batteries and beyond, CEO Austin Sendek announced at the International Battery Seminar in Orlando last week.
The announcement reflects a commitment to commercializing new materials, not software tools, for the energy transition, Sendek said. Highlighting the enormous size of the chemical design space for electrolytes, and the large number of materials already manufactured at scale, Sendek said that Aionics’ capabilities in high performance compute (HPC) and artificial intelligence-based materials modeling make the company extremely well-positioned to find the formulations the industry needs.
Over six billion electrolyte additives are currently commercially available. The number of additives that have been thoroughly explored numbers only in the thousands, Sendek said. This means the number of well-understood additives versus the number of possible candidate additives is similar to the difference between a golf ball versus two school buses.
While six billion is already far too many candidates to ever test experimentally, the number of possible combinations of these additives quickly becomes overwhelming: in his presentation, Sendek noted that it would take more than one hundred times the current age of the universe to test every combination of two additives even if you dedicated only one second to testing each pair.
In order to alleviate this problem, Aionics unveiled their new model: first, based on customer requirements, Aionics identifies a short list of candidate electrolytes and ships samples to their customers. If the first round of candidates does not achieve the desired performance, more rounds of candidates are sent until the desired requirements are met. Once a winning formulation is identified, Aionics supplies the electrolyte at scale through partnerships with third-party manufacturers.
This model ensures that Aionics has “skin in the game,” Sendek stated, emphasizing that customers are not committed to buy anything at volume until the customer can first verify in-house that Aionics has achieved the desired performance.
Aionics is working with leading OEMs and cell manufacturers to bring this solution to market, and Sendek hinted that big news regarding new partnerships would be coming soon.
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