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A new type of battery might be on the cusp of commercialisation thanks to Berlin-based company Theion.

The company’s new Crystal Battery promises triple the energy density and requires 90% less energy to produce than traditional lithium-ion cells. 

The Crystal Batteries use lithium-sulphur cathode technology, instead of lithium-ion. Sulphur is abundant compared to lithium and other materials traditionally found in batteries as it is often produced as a byproduct of many industrial processes. 

In fact, sulphur is around 99% cheaper to source than cathode materials, according to Theion, and also requires 90% less energy to produce in the process of turning it from raw material to a finished cell.

“I joined Theion because I am convinced that selecting the right battery active materials and processing these materials in a way that best leverages the material’s storage property, will disrupt the battery industry to another level,” said Dr. Ulrich Ehmes, the company’s newly appointed CEO.

“With 16 patents pending, our process innovations are scalable, and will bring a new dimension of mobility, range, usage time and sustainability.”

Theion’s production process extends the life cycle of batteries by combining sulphur’s crystal material properties with carbon nanotubes and a proprietary solid electrolyte. 

The company hopes to begin shipping material later this year and is targeting aerospace customers initially before moving onto aircraft, air taxis, drones, mobile phones and laptops, and finally the automotive sector in 2024.

“We are using mother nature’s crystals under the guidance of our patented processes to unlock sulphur’s full potential as an energy carrier,” said Marek Slavik, Theion co-founder and CTO.

“Its wide abundance around the world is crucial to the material cost. The design of our highly energy-efficient manufacturing processes makes our Crystal Batteries fully sustainable.”

Theion is headquartered in Berlin and has three locations across the German capital specialising in cell design, prototyping, and testing. The company is also looking to expand to a new manufacturing facility in Berlin, as well.

Locations for later gigafactories have not been decided as yet, though the company is promising that they will be close to the customers – meaning production sites could be in Europe, Asia, and the US.

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