It’s only logical some researchers and inventors would try to create an alternative to cobalt, given the rare metal’s difficult attributes.
Conamix, a New York-based startup is one such company which is focused on the development of cobalt-free battery technology. The company was founded in 2014, and has three investors.
Volta, one of the investors, is particularly excited about Conamix’s potential to simultaneously reduce cost, increase energy, and eliminate the need for cobalt in lithium batteries.
Conamix came to Volta’s attention through Volta’s network of dynamic technology innovators. They first identify and then test technologies before investors commit capital to them.
Winning technologies will create and maintain an advantage in one or more of the following differentiators:
- Cost. Winning technologies keep costs down, using fundamentally less expensive materials, designs, and manufacturing methods.
- Energy density and power density. Successful technologies leverage materials and components that improve energy density and/or power density, making them key to the ubiquitous adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy.
- Safety and cycle life. Winning technologies use sensors and software to optimize battery operation and detect catastrophic failures before they occur; they use materials that prevent or slow degradation to extend product life.
- Charging time and convenience. These technologies create solutions for significant increases in charging speed and/or cycle life extension.
- Value Capture. Business models that enable maximum exploitation and capture of value of the electrical energy storage capability of particular technologies in specific use cases, especially in grid-connected applications.
Conamix fulfilled these criteria and so the investment followed.
Conamix is developing cobalt-free electrode materials that would work in existing manufacturing processes. The company didn’t reveal the funding amount, but Bloomberg put the Series A round at $2 million. It’s part of a larger, $8 million commitment from several firms.
Reference- Conamix and Volta website, MIT, Cleantechnica