In the latest testing of its nano-structured battery cells, Altairnano has demonstrated that 90 percent of room temperature charge retention has been achieved at minus 30°C. Recharge at this temperature is unachievable in conventional lithium batteries. In addition, conventional lithium ion batteries have the potential to suffer from thermal runaway issues potentially leading to catastrophic battery failure at temperatures above 130°C. Lithium ion batteries utilizing Altairnano's nano-structured lithium titanate spinel electrodes do not experience thermal runaway at temperatures below 250°C, significantly improving the safety performance of the batteries.
This performance characteristic as well as the batteries other attributes of rapid charge and discharge cycles, extended cycle life and environmental friendliness should be of interest in applications requiring performance at temperature extremes, such as in the aerospace and military markets.
"Completing our first cell manufacturing run is a major milestone," commented Altairnano President and CEO Alan J. Gotcher, Ph.D. "Altairnano continues to develop its nano-structured electrode materials and to work with its commercial partners and their customers to develop high power, safe large format lithium ion batteries that are expected to meet the needs of electric and hybrid electric vehicles and other power applications. The latest test data also supports our expectation that our battery materials could appeal to new or existing markets that require high power in extreme temperatures."
Altairnano is delivering battery technology that provides a unique combination of very high specific power (Watts per kilogram) and high specific energy (Watt-hours per kilogram) relative to other batteries conventionally used in power applications. The battery materials have demonstrated charge rates in a few minutes, lifecycles that exceed 10 years and power characteristics that we expect will enable them to be used in electric vehicles requiring fast acceleration and extended range.
INFORMATION REGARDING COMPETITIVE BATTERY TECHNOLOGIES
Today's production hybrid electric vehicles and similar products use NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) battery cells because of their performance, safety and cost. However, manufacturers of hybrid electric vehicles and other products are seeking alternatives to NiMH batteries:
Shortcomings of NiMH Cells
-- Poor low temperature charge and discharge performance. Because NiMH cells use a water-based electrolyte, the battery becomes sluggish below freezing temperatures. -- Marginal life. Panasonic is predicting 6-year life for the newest and best NiMH (the best in the world), but the life still falls short of a 10- year vehicle life (12 years is the industry standard lifespan for commercial vehicles).An alternative to NiMH are lithium ion cells, which offer the promise of performance advantages, yet this technology has shortcomings:
Shortcomings of Conventional Lithium Ion Cells
-- Poor safety record. Because of safety concerns, US Department of Transportation and the United Nations have passed protocols that severely limit the size of conventional lithium batteries. These batteries can spontaneously combust if any internal "hot spot" exceeds 130°C. -- Inability to charge below freezing. If charged, a severe safety hazard may occur (metallic lithium formation). -- Marginal specific power. The best conventional lithium ion battery is comparable to the best NiMH battery.The Altairnano nano-structured lithium ion cells address these shortcomings:
Strengths of Altairnano Nano-structured Lithium Ion Cells
-- Safety. The thermal runaway threshold is raised to 250°C, which improves safety performance in most failure scenarios (where "failures" are specifically defined by national and international regulatory standards). -- Excellent cold temperature performance. Altairnano batteries can be charged and discharged with excellent performance to temperatures of minus 30°C, well below freezing. -- Life. Accelerated cycle life data promises long battery cell life increasing battery life to meet consumer and commercial vehicle life spans. -- Power density. Altairnano cells demonstrate higher power densities than conventional lithium-ion and NiMH batteries. -- Rapid charge and discharge rates. Allows the battery cells to charge in minutes depending upon the charging station capabilities.Altairnano cells have a specific energy density that is lower than traditional lithium ion batteries. Altairnano, its commercial partners and their customers are interested in the strengths of the Altairnano cells in other areas of performance essential for hybrid electric vehicle function make this technology a strong alternative for the hybrid electric vehicle market, as well as other aerospace and military applications.
ABOUT ALTAIR NANOTECHNOLOGIES INC.
Altairnano is a leading supplier and innovator of advanced ceramic nanomaterial technology. Based in Reno, Nevada, Altairnano has assembled a unique team of materials scientists who, coupled in collaborative ventures with industry partners and leading academic centers, have pioneered an array of intellectual property and products.
Altairnano's robust proprietary technology platforms produce a variety of crystalline and non-crystalline nanomaterials of unique structure, performance, quality and cost. Altairnano's two divisions, Life Sciences and Performance Materials, are focused on applications where its nanotechnology may enable new high growth markets. The Life Sciences Division is pursuing market applications in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, dental materials and other medical markets. The Performance Materials Division is focused on market applications in advanced materials for paints and coatings, air and water treatment, and alternative energy including new Li Ion battery electrode materials. For additional information on Altairnano and its nanomaterials, visit www.Altairnano.com
This release may contain forward-looking statements as well as historical information. Forward-looking statements, which are included in accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, may involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the company's actual results and performance in future periods to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested by the forward-looking statements in this release. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the risks that commercialization of Altairnano's battery materials may not occur for various reasons, including adverse test results related to Altairnano's battery materials or positive developments of competing companies; that markets requiring battery materials that can recharge at extreme temperatures will not develop as expected by Altairnano; that batteries being developed by competitors of Altairnano will outperform batteries using Altairnano's materials in areas that are most important to the hybrid vehicle and other power markets; that strengths of conventional lithium ion batteries and Nickel Metal-hydride batteries, such as high specific energy, will, despite Altairnano's superior performance with respect to specific power, recharge, life cycle and other issues, prove more important to potential battery producers and users; and that, even if initial commercialization occurs, revenues from Altairnano's battery materials may not be significant for various reasons, including absence of market demand and low royalty or wholesale materials rates. In addition, other risks are identified in the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the SEC. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. The company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements found herein to reflect any changes in company expectations or results or any change in events.
For Additional Information: Investor and Financial Relations: Marty Tullio or Mark Tullio McCloud Communications, LLC 949.553.9748 Email Contact Email Contact Company Contact: Robert Pedraza VP of Strategy and Business Development 775.856.2500 Email Contact