Beyond Lithium

Beyond Lithium

The success of renewable and green energy (like wind and solar) requires a diversity of energy storage options — beyond lithium-ion batteries. What will those alternatives look like? Each episode, we bring you a new perspective from a leading authority in batteries and energy storage focused on expanding the electrical grid with up-and-coming technology. Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/beyondlithium/support

Episodes

April 21, 2024 25 mins

🚀 “It’s not rocket science,” someone once told Mike Berger, Stryten Energy’s Director of Product Engineering. "Yes," he agreed. “It’s probably even a little more complicated than rocket science because really it takes chemistry, electricity, materials, and electrochemistry.” Listen to this episode to understand what he’s talking about in discussion with BioZen’s CEO Nate Kirchhofer.

Stryten Energy is a US manufacturer of...

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🏭 For the electric utilities, what is the most important metric for energy storage technology? What is the rule of 17%? What is dunkelflaute?! For answers, we turn to Kieran Claffey of Southern Company in discussion with BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer. To add some weight to Kieran's opinion, consider that as of 2021, Southern Company is the second largest utility company in the US, serving 9 million gas and electric customer...

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🐝 What is >100X more energy dense (33 kWh/kg) than Li-ion batteries (0.3kW/kg), and why is it so hard to store it at room temperature? What is a naturally-occurring gas that can be uniquely compressed into a non-toxic, non-flammable liquid at room temperature? And, how is beekeeping like energy storage cleantech?! To answer these questions, we're joined by Cullen Quine. He provides insights on his team's work, both as a...

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🌡 What's the difference between a heat pump and a heat engine? What is synchronous inertia? What are the four horses pulling the chariot of a startup company? Why does a technology need its own sandbox? For answers, we're joined by Ben Bollinger, a career early-stage tech startup pro, PhD scientist, and currently VP of Strategic Initiatives at Malta Inc.—where they're working on molten salt thermal energy storage for g...

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🚗 What is the most recycled product in the world, with 99.7% being collected into the recycling stream? Where does it get used beyond the starter / lighting / ignition functions in your car? Why does it have such a bad rap, and why should you in fact be excited about it? To answer these questions, we bring in Matt Raiford and Alyssa McQuilling from the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) to talk with BioZen's CEO Nate Kirc...

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💡 Can you trademark a sound? Why can you only patent "non-obvious" inventions? Who decides what is non-obvious? What is Enablement and how does the Supreme Court's ruling on it affect cleantech?! For answers to these questions and lots more, today's episode features Brendan Serapiglia, PhD and Jason Feldmar—partners and intellectual property (IP) attorneys at Gates & Cooper LLP—in discussion with BioZen's...

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♾ That's right: Invinity, with a V for vanadium. How many square meters does it take to set up 1 MWh of vanadium flow batteries? For the answer, we turn to Matt Harper, CCO and Co-founder at Invinity, in discussion with BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer.

Invinity Energy Systems was formed from the merger of RedT and Avalon in 2020 and focuses on vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) for large-scale, long duration energy storage...

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🐻 The capybara is nature's ultimate collaborator, existing peacefully in diverse global ecosystems. That harmonious disposition is exactly what CapyBara Energy seeks to bring to the energy storage market with their aqueous supercapacitor technology. How? CapyBara's Founder & CEO Matt Millard tells BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer that it's possible because their technology is uniquely "Sustainable, Affordable,...

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0️⃣ What's your favorite zero-emission load following dispatchable resource to enable green baseload? What even *is* green baseload?! For this episode, Mark Wanamaker of Lockheed Martin Energy Storage joins BioZen Batteries' CEO Nate Kirchhofer to discuss one possible answer to that question: Lockheed Martin's GridStar™ Flow Batteries!

This technology was acquired from MIT-spinout Sun Catalytics in 2014 and has been un...

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🔥 Is it just a glorified toaster? Not quite: At more than 1500 °C (2700 °F), the carbon blocks inside Antora's unique thermal batteries are resistively heated (like toaster coils heat bread), storing energy glowing-hot at >1/4 the temperature of the Sun's surface. Our guest for this episode, Leah Kuritzky (Antora's Head of PV Operations) tells BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer that the stored thermal energy can be us...

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🍣🐟 "Operating the electric grid without energy storage is sort of like operating a sushi restaurant without a refrigerator." Tune into this episode to find out what Otoro Energy's CEO Michael Marshak means by that in conversation with BioZen Batteries CEO Nate Kirchhofer. Then, stick around to learn about Otoro's key innovation in higher-voltage, non-flammable, highly-stable, aqueous-soluble metal-chelate flow b...

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⚡ Which metal was used as far back as 1799 when Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic pile, the original battery? Hint: It's still in use today in single-use alkaline batteries, and it's gaining adoption for safe, high-cycle, high-efficiency, high-energy-density grid scale batteries too. For this episode, Onas Bolton joins BioZen CEO Nate Kirchhofer to dive into how Octet Scientific is making these metal batteries better: m...

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💯 Pop Quiz! Define the following: EPCs, SCADA systems, upregulation, downregulation, frequency regulation, spinning reserves, timeshifting, and dispatchable assets. Didn't get them all right? That's okay! We've brought in Mahesh Morjaria of Terabase Energy to get you up to speed in conversation with BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer. We're going to dive into just what an engineering marvel the grid is, and what it m...

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♻️ What does "sustainability" mean to you? How do you put a price on the safety of a battery? If we want society to adopt renewable energy, why is there so much NIMBYism about it? To answer these questions, and more, clean energy expert Ilja Pawel calls in from Austria to join BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer. Ilja is an independent consultant and star communicator on renewable energy generation and storage technologies, ...

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🦠 You've heard of two major domains of life: Bacteria (think E. coli) and Eukaryotes (like yeast, plants, animals, etc). Do you know what the third major domain is? (Hint: it's hidden in the company name, Electrochaea.) Do you know how it stores energy? Tune into this episode where Doris Hafenbradl joins BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer to discuss these ancient microorganisms—the biocatalysts at the heart of Electrochaea&#...

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🧪 What are the critical chemicals that need to be scaled for energy storage right now? In 5 years, what battery chemistry is going to be winning in the marketplace? We're changing the pace with two guests to answer these questions: Dr. Tyler Farnsworth and Tom Borak, who join BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer and bring their perspective from MERGE Chemistry—the custom/specialty chemical manufacturing division of Inorganic Ventu...

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🤺 How competitive is the energy storage market? On this episode, Cofounder & CTO of VoltStorage Michael Peither joins, as always, BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer to discuss this, the size of the need (in TWh), and perspectives on battery development cycles. VoltStorage is a leading manufacturer of vanadium redox flow batteries (V-RFBs) for agriculture and industrial applications requiring "Commercial" batteries (8-1...

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💦 Battery immersion cooling! What does that mean? Today's episode brings James Werbe of Wayside Energy for a conversation with BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer. As Wayside puts it, they're "creating a future to look forward to" starting with their novel thermal control approach for sodium ion (Na-ion) cells and how it helps with safety, reliability, sustainability, and scaling. We dive into just what immersion co...

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💤 Have you ever heard of "hibernation mode" for a battery? For this episode, BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer is joined by Mark Higgins of Redflow (ASX:RFX), a global company founded in Australia in 2005 (IPO 2010) that manufatures Zinc Bromine (Zn-Br) flow batteries. Tune in to learn from Mark just what Redflow's unique battery hibernation entails—not to mention their Zn-Br batteries' advantages in safety, depth...

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☀️ For this episode, Kristina "Kristy" Jansen joins the show with BioZen's CEO Nate Kirchhofer. Kristy brings two decades of experiece to cleantech, having been in solar photovoltaic development in the early 2000's, followed by a stint in advocacy on the non-profit side, and recently returning to renewable energy with RAI Energy (pronounced "Ray") becasue there is so much work to be done. We discuss her ...

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