ENERGY STORAGE

South 8 & NanoGraf to develop Li-Ion batteries for US soldiers

May 1, 2024

South 8 Technologies, the developer of ‘LiGas’, a liquefied gas electrolyte for advanced lithium-ion batteries, has announced that it is collaborating with NanoGraf to deliver “higher energy, safer, and lighter batteries” for soldiers in the battlefield.

South 8’s $6.4 million subcontract with NanoGraf will support the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center (DEVCOM). South 8 will develop and deliver a high-rate injection system for its LiGas electrolyte to bolster domestic production of cylindrical lithium-ion batteries under the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)’s Family of Advanced Standard Batteries (FAStBat) initiative.

“US soldiers are often weighed down by more than 20 pounds of lithium-ion batteries when in the field, carrying multiple battery packs as backups in case of poor performance due to extreme weather or physical damage,” a statement said. “The combination of South 8 and NanoGraf’s technologies has the potential to alleviate these common lithium-ion battery concerns, while also offering soldiers a lighter load. Together, South 8 and NanoGraf plan to develop a universal, accessible, domestically produced energy storage cell.”

Tom Stepien, CEO of South 8, commented: “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with NanoGraf and the Department of Defense through the FAStBat program. Our goal is to improve soldier safety, military capabilities, and the domestic lithium-ion battery supply chain. While today’s lithium-ion batteries struggle with poor capacity in difficult climates, our LiGas electrolyte directly addresses significant pain points by enhancing range and performance in extreme environments, while minimising fire risk during critical missions.”

Dr. Francis Wang, CEO of NanoGraf, added: “We are committed to advancing battery innovation and helping to build a more resilient battery supply chain. We are enthusiastic about how our work with the DoD and South 8 will help achieve this goal. Adding the safety and extreme temperature capabilities of South 8’s LiGas electrolyte to our silicon anode 18650 cells has the potential to yield a powerful product with unique benefits compared to other commercial cells.”