Powering the future of electric mobility
Peter Frischmann (Cyclotron Road Innovator), Brett Helms (LBNL Staff Scientist), Kira Gardner (Sepion Scientist), Jon Alessandro (Sepion Scientist), and Max Lyons (Sepion Intern) make up the Sepion Team. Frischmann has devoted the last 10 years to advanced materials R&D and has leveraged his expertise to next-generation energy storage technologies for the last 5 years. His background in self-assembly and hybrid organic/inorganic materials design places him outside the battery materials establishment, leaving him with a unique vantage point to tackle long-standing energy storage problems with innovative solutions capable of disrupting the status quo. He was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Würzburg and holds a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of British Columbia and a B.Sc. in chemistry from Idaho State University.
Critical need: Averting catastrophic anthropogenic climate change necessitates a holistic transformation in society’s energy generation and consumption habits. Game-changing battery breakthroughs that deliver beyond Li-ion performance are needed to accelerate this transformation.
Technology vision: Sepion’s innovative membrane materials pave the path to safe, energy-dense batteries capable of powering electric vehicles for 400 miles, a metric that relieves consumer range anxiety and redefines electric mobility. Our platform membrane technology is adaptable—providing near-term benefits to today’s Li-ion batteries and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with next-generation Li-metal anodes.
Energy density of rechargeable battery chemistries (Wh/kg)
Current state-of-the-art: Despite their promise of high energy density, Li-metal anodes have yet to gain market share primarily because the ceramic membrane technologies, proven to enable safe cycling, cannot be processed at scale and limit the power density of the battery. Electric mobility applications demand high-power at a competitive cost, highlighting the severe drawbacks of current state-of-the-art materials.
Key innovation: Sepion has developed a composite membrane to replace the expensive and resistive ceramic incumbent. In addition to providing high-flux and ion-selective transport, Sepion’s composite membranes are processable in large area formats at a fraction of the cost of ceramics, giving them the potential to deliver energy-dense, high-power Li-metal anodes at a competitive cost.
Manufacturing challenges: Roll-to-roll membrane processing is critical to reach acceptable economies-of-scale for manufacturing Sepion’s must-have battery components.
Competing technology: Gasoline, Li-ion batteries (graphite anode), and fuel cells represent the incumbent and competing next-generation solutions for powering human mobility. Although it is nearly impossible to match the energy density of gasoline, switching to electric power enables a complete redesign of the powertrain to maximize efficiency and longevity. Li-metal anodes have the potential to double the energy density of today’s Li-ion batteries. PEM fuel cells are capable of exceptional power density but face challenges related to hydrogen storage and sourcing the hydrogen fuel.
First market hypothesis: Several industries are working to increase the energy density of batteries. Powering mobile electronics is a first market with lower performance demands than electric vehicle power supplies and will serve as a proving ground for Sepion’s breakthrough membrane technology. Globally, the market for Li-ion batteries is $30 billion and projected to grow to $77 billion by 2024.
Potential for impact: Imagine a society where roads are quiet, air is clean, and no one talks about the price of gasoline. This vision of a better, more electrified future is what we strive to enable at Sepion. Electric vehicles are essential to decarbonize transportation, cut air pollution, boost the US economy, and reduce energy burdens facing low-income and communities of color. Sepion’s breakthrough in Li-battery membranes is the must-have component for automakers to deliver safe EVs with 400-mile range at an equitable price—addressing the biggest hurdles facing EV adoption: range anxiety and up-front cost.
We're looking for:
- Joint development partners (cell testing and membrane manufacturing)
- Technoeconomic analysis
- Team members - scientists, engineers, advisors
Contact: pete [at] sepiontechnologies [dot] com