Theion unveils Crystal Battery innovation
Battery tech manufacturer Theion has announced the upcoming commercial availability of its Crystal Battery for applications beginning with the aerospace sector.
The announcement comes with the appointment of Dr. Ulrich Ehmes as CEO, who will lead the commercialisation of Theion’s lithium-sulphur cathode technology, which is targeting triple the range and usage time compared to conventional lithium-ion cells.
Theion’s battery innovation is based on sulphur — a material available in abundance without harmful mining (a byproduct of industrial processes). Sulphur replaces cathode materials with high processing cost and high metal content like nickel and cobalt. As a result, it is said to be 99 per cent cheaper to source than the cathode materials.
According to Theion, its battery cells also require 90 per cent less energy to produce, from raw material to finished cell.
Under the leadership of Dr Ehmes, who has a long track record of industrialising battery production at companies like Swiss-listed lithium-ion battery company Leclanché, Berlin-based Theion will leverage his experience to scale production.
“I joined Theion because I am convinced that selecting the right battery active materials and processing these materials in a way that best leverages the material’s storage property, will disrupt the battery industry to another level,” Dr. Ehmes said in a statement.
“With 16 patents pending, our process innovations are scalable, and will bring a new dimension of mobility, range, usage time and sustainability.”
Theion’s patented production process extends battery life cycle by combining sulphur’s crystal material properties with carbon nanotubes and a proprietary solid electrolyte. The company will be shipping material later this year, firstly to aerospace customers as part of the qualification stage, then aircraft, air taxis, drones, mobile phones and laptops before serving the electric flight and automotive sectors in 2024.
The company is backed by Lukasz Gadowski, CEO of Team Global, a technology holding company investing in and starting frontier technology companies. Recent investments include Volocopter, Zapata and AutoFlight.
“At a time when industry demand for batteries is surging, but materials cost and sustainable sourcing are experiencing volatility, Theion’s breakthrough is ideally timed,” said principal investor Gadowski.
“Theion’s Crystal Battery is perfect for all mobility applications, while being massively sustainable, and is targeting to extend the use time of handheld devices, the driving range of electric cars, and the safe flight time of eVTOL applications and electric aircraft by a factor of three. When in full production, it has the potential to replace every battery in every mobility device on earth.”
Theion is expanding by adding manufacturing facilities to accelerate its mass production roadmap, beginning in Berlin where it currently operates three locations. Locations for later Gigafactories are undetermined so far, but envisioned in locations close to customers including in Europe, Asia and the US.