Company Overview: COnovate's founders discovered Graphene Monoxide (GmO), a novel carbon-based nanomaterial that is the world’s only form of solid carbon monoxide (CO) at room temperature and pressure with a unique set of beneficial properties. With this promising material, COnovate is focused on enabling a world where lithium-ion batteries (LIB) power your phone for days, energize your electric car for long distances, fuel your power tools for project after project and charge within minutes, all without risk of fire. Since company formation in 2016, there has been successful scaleup of GmO resulting in a 200 mAh pouch demonstration confirming superior performance (charging them six times faster and doubling the lifetime) and safety versus graphite anodes. The next step is demonstrating commercially scalable approaches with its partners, including Argonne National Laboratory. Anticipated initial commercial production is 2022 targeting a specialized application like power tools, with a longer-term focus on electric vehicles.

Challenge: Across all markets, the LIB market needs greater capacity for stored energy, faster charging times, and safer batteries (recall fires in phones and computers). To meet these demands, new anode materials are required, particularly for its largest growing segment, electric vehicles. Li-ion batteries currently dominate these markets because they are lightweight and can store a lot of energy. However, for end users, charge time is too long and the demand for greater capacity is omnipresent, while battery manufacturers must minimize or fundamentally eliminate safety issues arising from short circuits inside batteries.

Our Solution: COnovate's materials offer a safer solution with improved capacity and faster charging times. Stacked GmO layers have more space between layers than graphite, facilitating faster lithium intercalation. These materials offer battery manufacturers an evolutionary strategy for significantly improving battery performance and safety since they offer a drop-in solution for the current graphite-based manufacturing infrastructure. Initial adoption of cost-effective GmO as an additive will progress to full replacement in successive steps of improved battery manufacturing. This approach allows the LIB manufacturer to incorporate GmO in a customized and gradual way until they are ready to completely phase out graphite.

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