Coincidentally, there is another news item out of Oak Ridge National Lab, this one regarding a new $5.5 million pact between Dow Kokam and ORNL “to develop and commercialize advanced lithium-ion batteries” that is being touted as an example of the new Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.
ORNL has developed unique and specialized battery know-how, and with this new agreement the lab will essentially supplement the Dow Kokam’s staff R&D efforts.
A news release from the lab mentions the two entities have been doing joint R&D work since early 2010 and says the new efforts will come in the areas of electrochemical and microstructural analysis, in-line quality control process development, raw material characterization and processing battery components, technology evaluation and technical strategic advice.
The release also connects the agreement to the AMP, noting it “aligns directly with goals outlined in the recent report titled “Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing.” The report was prepared by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the President’s Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee. A key recommendation of the 25-member panel was to “invest to overcome market failures, to ensure that new technologies and design methodologies are developed here, and that technology-based enterprises have their infrastructure to flourish.”
Dow Kokam is jointly owned by Dow Chemical Co., TK Advanced Battery LLC and Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault. The company is focused on developing “large-format” (i.e., transportation-scale) batteries, based on Li-ion technologies primarily using a nickel manganese cobalt composition.
The funding for the ORNL support work likely links back to a recent $4.9 million DOE grant to Dow Kokam to develop Li-ion cells that have energy densities greater than 500 Watt-hours per liter.