Ilika plc (AIM:IKA), the advanced cleantech materials discovery company, announces that it has recently delivered a presentation to the 52nd Battery Symposium in Tokyo on its work to develop innovative new materials for lithium-ion batteries for use in next generation electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
The presentation was delivered by Professor Brian Hayden, Chief Scientific Officer of Ilika and his colleagues, in conjunction with Toyota Motor Corp, and was entitled "High throughput methods to accelerate the discovery and optimization of materials for lithium-ion batteries".
Ilika has been working with Toyota since February 2008 on the development of solid state electrolytes, one of the most important components of an all solid battery. The key to successful solid state battery development is to find a stable electrolyte with high enough conductivity and in the presentation Ilika demonstrated how their high throughput methods have produced very high quality electrolytes with substantially higher conductivity than had previously been observed.
The data published at this conference has been underpinned by patent applications jointly held by Ilika and Toyota.
The use of solid state electrolytes in batteries will help to reduce battery size, allow rapid charge/discharge rates (allowing motorists to recharge their vehicles in a matter of minutes rather than hours) and increase the length of the battery's life.
It is estimated that the market for Lithium-ion batteries is expected to grow from its current level of $8 billion per annum to $32 billion per annum by 2018 (source: Takeshita, 26th International Battery Meeting, Florida, 2009) with the fastest growing segment of this market is expected to be for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Ilika has been recognised as a leader in this area and has since been engaged on a number of research projects with Japanese companies to develop innovative new materials for lithium-ion batteries.
Commenting, Graeme Purdy, Chief Executive of Ilika, said: "We believe that the clear benefits of solid state batteries including higher energy densities, faster charge rates and increased safety make them strong candidates for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. We are working with a number of leading Japanese battery manufacturers in this field who share this vision"
Ilika is an advanced materials company which accelerates the discovery of new and patentable materials using its unique high throughput technologies (''HTT'') process for identified end uses in the energy, electronics and biomedical sectors. This process enables hundreds of scalable materials to be made in a single, automated operation and subsequently tested for key properties.
Traditionally, materials development has been a slow and arduous task, with manual, sequential methods used to make samples of material that are then tested for suitability. On average, it takes between 7 and 10 years to move from an initial discovery through to the first commercial prototype. Experiments carried out by the Company can be executed 10 to 100 times faster than using traditional techniques.
The Company focuses on three principal sectors and has a number of active development programmes addressing markets within each sector:
Energy - developing innovative new materials for Lithium-ion batteries for vehicles for Toyota; developing high capacity hydrogen storage materials with Shell Hydrogen and Johnson Matthey through joint development programmes; developing cheaper alternatives to Platinum electrodes for use in fuel cells through a grant-funded project with the Carbon Trust; developing new materials for use in fuel cells for the transport sector for a major vehicle manufacturer; and carrying out in-house research on film photovoltaic solar cells.
Electronics - developing lead-free piezoelectric materials through a joint development programme with CeramTec; developing phase change memory materials for high capacity memory chips and high-performing electronic materials for a multi-national manufacturer.
Biomedical - developing polymers to enable the filtering of somatic stem cells from blood with a major global supplier of filters; it has been selling its Cryoskin and Myskin products for the treatment of burns and wounds in the UK through a specialist distributor and intends to commence clinical trials of its corneal bandage candidate.
The Group's commercialisation strategy is to enter into joint development or licensing agreements with large multinational companies which are seeking to commercialise products developed using the intellectual property created through jointly-funded programmes. Current commercialisation partners include large multinational companies such as Toyota, Shell, Johnson Matthey and CeramTec. The Company generates revenues from three sources: licensing and milestone payments from joint development programmes; fee for service from contract research projects; and from sales of Cryoskin and Myskin.
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