Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. today announced results from the cooperative work program it conducted with the J. Heyrovsky Institute, Prague, Czech Republic and Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. Early evaluation of the report indicated that the results achieved in energy storage far exceeded expectations, and verified the potential of Altair’s nanosized lithiated titania to charge and discharge at rates that are orders of magnitude higher than more conventional material.
This ability to deliver energy at such high rates and to recharge in such a short time offers a new and revolutionary tool to battery manufacturers seeking solutions to battery requirements for solar cars, fuel cell drives, hybrid vehicles, and other growing markets for portable power.
In his comments, the Principal Investigator, Dr. Ladislav Kavan, noted, “The strong point of our work is, that we are dealing with a broad array of materials of varying surface area (particle size) but with identical chemical composition.” He goes on to say, “Our conclusions about the dependence of electrochemical parameters on the surface area are well supported, and of general validity.” Tim Spitler, Director of Research for Altair and author of the research design in conjunction with Dr. Kavan said, “Dr. Kavan’s work is a marvelous verification of the value of the ability to control particle size and quality afforded by the Altair process. We are currently reviewing the report carefully for patentable and publishable discoveries.”
“The cooperation and teamwork between Tim Spitler and his research team and Dr. Kavan was remarkable,” said Ken Lyon, president of Altair Nanomaterials Inc. Both Dr. Kavan and Mr. Lyon credited the EPFL and its staff for providing the necessary infrastructure, stimulating work environment, and assistance. The research program was done under the overall direction of Professor Michael Graetzel of the EPFL, Switzerland. Dr. Graetzel is one of the world’s most honoured scientists in the fields of photoelectronics and electrochemistry.
The study was partially funded by Xoliox, SA. Switzerland, a battery technology company which has several ongoing research programs with both EPFL and the J. Heyrovsky Institute. In an October 5th, 2001 press release, Xoliox stated, “Xoliox’s recent research of these new nanomaterials, which was conducted in conjunction with Professor Michael Graetzel (Lausanne, Switzerland), revealed charge and discharge rates that are more than 100 times faster than conventional lithium ion battery technologies, enabling the battery to be fully recharged in under one minute.” A meeting has been scheduled in the near future between Altair and Xoliox to review the findings of the report and chart a path for future development activities between the two companies.
This is an example of nanoparticles as an enabling technology in a potentially very large market. Altair is positioned to supply commercial quantities of unique nano lithium titanate materials to this developing worldwide market.
Nanotechnology is rapidly emerging as a unique industry sector. Altair Nanotechnologies’ corporate goal is to become the leading supplier of nanomaterials worldwide through product innovation in a new science. Altair owns a proprietary technology for making nanocrystalline materials of unique quality, economically in large quantities. The company is currently developing special nanomaterials with potential applications in fuel cells, solar cells, advanced energy storage devices, thermal spray coatings, catalysts, cosmetics, paints and environmental remediation. Altair holds mineral leases on a “world class” titanium mineral sand deposit in Tennessee where the recently constructed pilot plant is operational.