Ioning out the cost of hi-tech batteries

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A Sheffield company, whose revolutionary technology is set to slash the cost of rechargeable batteries used in everything from mobile ‘phones to electric cars, is heading for expansion.

Faradion has won significant funding from Finance Yorkshire and further backing from Danish technology company Haldor Topsøe to help scale up production of a new generation of materials to replace expensive Lithium-ion, or Li-ion, batteries.

The company, based at the Kroto Innovation Centre on Broad Lane, has developed technology based on similar principles, but using sodium – one of the two elements found in salt – which is far cheaper than lithium.

Finance Yorkshire provided finance from its Seedcorn Fund three years ago to help Faradion get started with its Sodium-ion – or Na-ion – technology.

Now it is providing an unspecified, but significantly larger investment, to take the project forward.

Haldor Topsøe will work with Faradion to further develop the company’s sodium-ion technology and has been granted a licence to manufacture and sell cathode materials for sodium-ion batteries using Faradion technology.

Dr Chris Wright, who was group operations director at AEA Technology, responsible for Lithium-ion battery licensing, is Faradion’s chief executive.

He said: “This latest investment from Finance Yorkshire marks a significant contribution to enabling us to further develop our technology as well as scale up production of our next-generation battery materials.”

Faradion says existing Li-ion manufacturing lines can be used to make Na-ion batteries.

Na-ion technology is far cheaper than Li-ion technology.