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6K Awarded $1M Federal Grant to Develop Advanced Materials for Electric Vehicle Batteries

Car getting battery charged


October 15, 2018

North Andover, Mass., October 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — 6K, a leading producer of high value advanced materials using microwave plasma production systems, today announced it has been awarded a $1 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant through the U.S.Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) to continue its development of advanced cathode materials for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The grant follows 6K’s completion of a successful Phase I program to develop cathode materials using its proprietary UniMelt™ advanced manufacturing platform.

“As the availability and use of electronic vehicles in the United States and around the world continues to grow, it is important that industry and government collaboratively work together to develop innovations that will continue to make EVs safer, more efficient, and less costly,” said Aaron Bent, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of 6K. “This program represents an important public-private effort to help achieve these goals, and we are delighted to receive this grant from the EERE to continue our work to accelerate 6K’s battery technology program.”

A larger portion of the component costs for an electric vehicle can be attributed to its battery, which is currently estimated to cost ~$200 per kilowatt-hour. One path to significantly reducing the cost per kilowatt-hour is by reducing the cost of cathode materials, which account for up to 25 percent of the battery and improving the capacity and energy density of cathode materials with nickel-rich materials.

6K can produce high-performance cathode materials in a fraction of the time compared to existing manufacturing processes. Utilizing its UniMelt™ Microwave Plasma platform, the company will reduce what is normally a multi-day, multi-step batch process in existing traditional processes down to seconds in a continuous process, while maintaining tight control of the material’s phase purity, size and size distribution. This exponentially increases production efficiencies while lowering production costs and the environmental impact associated with manufacturing these materials.

“Phase I of this project successfully validated the feasibility and versatility of our UniMelt™ process to produce commercially viable cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries,” said Kamal Hadidi, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Technology Officer. “Our work in Phase II will focus on scaling up our process for commercial-level production, further optimizing the material’s performance, and reducing overall production costs.”


About 6K

6K uses proprietary advanced plasma processing and industrial systems to create materials that are enabling the next generation of commercial and consumer products. The company’s continuous UniMelt™ process allows for complete and unprecedented control of the entire materials engineering process, to produce materials at exact specifications while collapsing traditional multi-step chemical processes and significantly reducing overall production time, byproducts, and cost. 6K focuses on developing critical materials used to manufacture silicon wafers, LED lighting, powders for industrial 3D printing, advanced battery technologies, and thermal coatings. For more information, please visit https://www.6kinc.com.​


Rob Haralson for 6K rhh@anzupartners.com, (202) 251-3322