The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $24 million to two projects to commercialize sodium-ion battery development and methane detection technologies, Kallanish Energy reports.
A $19 million grant went to California-based Natron Energy and a $5 million grant was awarded to Montana-based Bridger Photonics.
The grants were awarded as part of DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential program.
Many DOE-funded projects “show immense technical promise but at the end of their funding cycle are met with the difficult challenge of overcoming the dreaded ‘valley of death’ in securing additional funding. These two selections address this need and provide a mix of government and private resources to bring previously funded ARPA-E technologies out of the lab and into the market,” said ARPA-E Director Lane Genatowski in a statement.
The grant to Natron Energy will be used to scale up production of the company’s Prussian blue electrode sodium-ion batteries by a factor of 30 to 18,000 trays per year.
The grant is also intended to de-risk the resulting supply chain and products through continuous production and sales for six months.
The main product is an eight-kilowatt, 50-volt battery tray for use in data centers to manage peak computer load and provide critical backup power.
The grant to Bridger Photonics will be used to further develop the next generation of methane leak detection and quantification, Gas Mapping LiDAR.
The technology relies on an aerial platform to detect methane leaks from oil and natural gas operations.
Leaking methane is lost revenue for producers and contributes to global warming.
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