EnerG2 looks to expand beyond ultracapacitors
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
EnerG2 effectively hung out its shingle for the advanced battery business on Tuesday announcing that its synthetic carbon technology is applicable beyond ultracapacitors and has the potential to make a range of energy-storage methods more efficient.
"All the different types of batteries and capacitors all use carbon in some way," said Rick Luebbe, CEO of Seattle-based EnerG2. "The opportunity for enhanced carbon is an area that hasn't gotten a lot of attention."
Potential markets include lithium ion batteries, fuel cells, lead acid batteries and advanced lithium batteries.
In August EnerG2 broke ground on a plant in Albany, Ore., that will be operational by October, employing 35 people. The plant is backed in part by stimulus funding awarded by the Department of Energy.
But if EnerG2 is successful in expanding into new markets, Luebbe said Albany would be the beneficiary as the company looks to expand its base there.
"We will expand the Albany plant as much as we possibly can," Luebbe said. "We've got a lot of opportunity for growth in Albany today."
And EnerG2's prospects look good.
Luebbe said EnerG2 is working the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium to create a structured carbon to improve the cycle life of lead acid batteries, which would have applications not only for hybrid cars but also for grid-scale energy storage. Grid-scale energy storage has been slow to develop in part because the cost of storing a kilowatt-hour of electricity is roughly three times as expensive as generating a kilowatt-hour of electricity.
"If we can triple the life of the battery, all of a sudden the cost of energy storage isn't prohibitive," Luebbe said.
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