South 8 Technologies has raised $12 million in Series A financing to commercialise next-generation electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries.
The financing round was led by industrial venture investor Anzu Ventures along with LG Technology Ventures and Shell Ventures as well as Foothill Ventures and Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation.
California based South 8 intends to use the funding to accelerate the commercialisation of its patented liquefied gas electrolyte technology, which should improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries for applications such as electric vehicles, grid storage, aerospace and defence.
South 8 believes its LiGas electrolyte technology offers a unique approach to next-generation lithium batteries, addressing the shortcomings of both existing liquid electrolytes and solid state batteries under development.
Whereas common battery electrolytes are liquid at room temperature, the LiGas technology uses solvents that are normally gaseous at standard pressure and room temperature but may be liquefied under pressure and used as an electrolyte within the cell.
Key features indicated include increased safety with rapid venting after physical or electrical abuse, high chemical stability and high conductivity enabling highest energy material use and wide operating temperature range from -60oC to +60oC.
With material compatibility, integration should be simplified and costs reduced and the recycling at end of life simplified.
“With the battery and auto industries placing big bets on a relatively narrow set of potential breakthrough innovations, we are offering a truly unique and much more practical alternative technology,” said Cyrus Rustomji, Ph.D., CEO of South 8 Technologies.
“This new financing from such a strong group of investors will allow us to further our product development and foster new industry partnerships to bring this technology to the world.”
South 8 Technologies began operations in 2016 as a spin out of UC San Diego where the LiGas technology was developed.
Shell Ventures and Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation are previous investors in South 8.