Pittsburgh-based Stratus Materials, Inc., previously operating as 33 Tech Inc., announced it has begun pilot-scale production of a highly promising, manganese-rich, cobalt-free cathode material for lithium-ion batteries.
The company, founded in early 2022, is led by Dr. Jay Whitacre, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. The company uses proprietary formulations and production processes to develop cathode materials with outstanding functionality, energy density, and stability that are low-cost and use available materials. The company’s focus is on scaling production for light- and medium-duty electric vehicles, as well as other applications.
“Our innovative processes and materials are designed to provide the lithium-ion battery industry with cathode offerings that outperform best-in-class NMC cathode formulations on virtually every dimension, without relying on cobalt and with significantly less nickel and lithium per kilowatt-hour,” Whitacre, the company’s CEO and CTO said. “We are extremely excited about engaging more broadly with potential customers and partners.”
The company completed a $12 million Series A financing deal led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), a network of investment vehicles and philanthropic programs founded by Bill Gates to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The funding deal also saw participation from DNS Capital.
“Energy density, cost, materials availability, and safety are critical factors for a battery technology to enable full EV adoption and production,” said Carmichael Roberts with Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “The Stratus Materials team has developed a set of cathode active materials that address and optimize each of these parameters, enabling EVs to scale to new levels.”
Stratus said it is providing samples of its product to a small group of potential initial customers and will be attending the International Battery Seminar & Exhibit in Orlando, Fla., in March.