810 3rd Avenue, Suite 120
Seattle, WA 98104
The Science of Storage
EnerG2 and its state-of-the-art scientific approach to energy storage materials has been backed over the past five years by the public and private sectors. Among the company’s supporters: the University of Washington, the Washington Technology Center, a state-supported economic development agency that finances applications of university research, WRF Capital of Seattle, Washington, the Sustainability Investment Fund of Portland, Oregon, OVP Venture Partners of Kirkland, Washington, and Firelake Capital Management of Palo Alto, California.
In October 2008, EnerG2 raised $8.5 million in Series A financing. The financing was led by OVP and Firelake.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about EnerG2:
What does the company do?
EnerG2 engineers advanced nano-structured materials for energy storage breakthroughs.
How important is energy storage to the sustainable economy?
We believe that efficient, reliable and cost-effective clean energy storage will be an essential element of the emerging post-petroleum economy.
What makes EnerG2 different?
EnerG2 approaches the problem with engineered materials solutions; and, from our perspective, it’s the materials that matter in any energy storage device.
Rather than accept the limitations of naturally occurring materials, EnerG2 uses materials science to assemble cutting-edge products at the molecular level. Controlling the molecular structure and assembly process of our engineered materials at the earliest stage possible provides flexibility, lowers costs and maximizes performance. As a result, we are delivering new capabilities and creating fresh opportunities in energy storage.
What is EnerG2 focused on today?
EnerG2 is currently focused on customizing electrode materials to enhance energy and power density in ultracapacitors, one of the essential engines of the new energy economy. Ultracapacitors, which are dependent on the performance of their materials, store and release more energy faster than conventional batteries. The size and make-up of the electrodes’ surface area helps ultracapacitors store and supply large bursts of energy; the materials also effectively enable limitless cycle life.
What are the most promising applications for ultracapacitors?
Ultracapacitors containing EnerG2 materials will be increasingly embraced by the automotive industry for hybrid electric vehicles, by electronics manufacturers for enhancing the life and usability of consumer goods, and by a variety of industrial customers to deliver an ever-increasing breadth of new ways to improve energy efficiency.
What’s next for EnerG2?
In the future, EnerG2 materials may be used to improve natural gas, methane and hydrogen storage as well as lithium-ion batteries.
The patented and proprietary technology used by EnerG2 is based on nano-structured carbon materials that are finely controlled and offer ultra-high surface areas. These materials are extremely conductive and are tremendously attractive to energy-storing molecules such as electrolytic ions, methane, natural gas and hydrogen. The result: maximum energy storage that is exceedingly cost effective. Working in collaboration with the University of Washington Department of Materials Science & Engineering, EnerG2 has developed unique sol-gel processing technologies to construct its carbon materials. Sol-gel processing, which creates optimal structure and purity in the finished carbon product, is a chemical synthesis that gels colloidal suspensions to form solids through heat and catalysts. EnerG2 has invented a patented ability to control the hydrolysis and condensation reactions within the gelling process, and this allows the materials’ surface structures and pore-size distributions to be shaped, molded and customized for a variety of critical energy storage uses. The EnerG2 approach to energy storage material manufacturing is unique. Most commercially available materials for energy storage are produced from naturally occurring precursors; therefore much of the performance of these derivative materials is determined by natural physical properties of the selected precursor. As a result, important characteristics such as pore-size distribution and purity are fixed within the natural precursor and are merely exposed by competitors’ various processing approaches. Innovation at EnerG2 is derived from molecular self-assembly; to put it simply, we build our energy storage materials from scratch, and this leads to greater structural control, improved product purity and an ability to escape today’s energy storage performance limitations. EnerG2 has developed these processing capabilities with an explicit and aggressive focus on cost control. To avoid the expensive processing typically associated with nanotechnology, the company has leveraged large-scale commercial processing technologies from established industries to design a production approach that is both relatively inexpensive and inherently scalable.
EnerG2 focuses its efforts and attention on three core carbon material groups:
- Granules in infinitely variable carbon particle sizes are used to make high-performance electrode materials for ultracapacitors.
- Monoliths are the carbon materials composed of the granules in relatively solid form prior to milling and are used in methane and natural gas storage systems.
- Nano-Composites are created when carbon materials are mixed with chemical and metal hydrides; they are central to hydrogen storage systems.