Vorbeck Materials has cemented its place as a leader in the field of graphene based energy solutions with the award of winner in the Department of Energy’s “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator” competition.
Vorbeck will be featured at the Arpa-E summit in Washington, D.C. February 27 following their work in partnership with the Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL) and Princeton University. The award winning company is leading the effort to commercialize next generation lithium batteries incorporating graphene technology. This new innovation promises to use the unique properties of graphene to realize major improvements in the performance of the batteries; a move that would enable faster-charging, and higher powered batteries for transportation and consumer electronics. Electric cars with a current range of 100 miles after 10-12 hours of recharge will have a range of 400 miles.
High performance batteries developed by PNNL using Vorbeck’s patented graphene technology, known as Vor-x™, have produced record breaking energy storage capacities. Batteries using graphene have significantly faster recharge rates than current rechargeable batteries, making improvements in several technologies an imminent possibility. Graphene offers unique advantages as an electrode material in lithium ion batteries because it is strong, thin and highly conductive. Even small quantities of high-quality, single-sheet graphene can lead to batteries that both store large amounts of energy and recharge quickly – breaking traditional trade-offs in battery design between capacity, power and recharge rate. Whereas today’s cell phone batteries typically take between two and five hours to recharge, batteries with graphene-based anodes could recharge in less than 10 minutes.
America’s “Next Top Energy Innovator Competition” is part of the Obama Administration’s Startup America initiative, which aims to create the best possible climate for high-growth entrepreneurs across the country. The programme reduces both the cost and paperwork requirements for startup companies to obtain an option agreement to license some of the 15,000 patents and patent applications held by the Department’s 17 national laboratories to build successful businesses.
Vorbeck became the first company in the world to bring a graphene-based product to market with the 2009 launch of Vor-ink™, a graphene-based conductive ink. Vorbeck is committed to rapidly commercialize graphene-based lithium batteries. Vorbeck is partnering with Hardwire LLC to integrate the new batteries into hybrid military vehicles and is collaborating with companies to incorporate the new technology in toys, tools, and commercial vehicles.
Vorbeck’s success in the competition makes it a key target for potential investors. The company recently completed a fully subscribed series 3 funding round of which Black Powder, LLC and Fairbridge Venture Partners, LP were the lead financiers.