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Battery storage firm gets patents

2011-07-07
Liquid Metal Battery Corporation (LMBC), a Cambridge, Massachusetts (US) company , founded in 2010 to develop new forms of electric storage batteries that work in large, grid-scale applications, announced it has secured the rights to key patent technology from MIT and received financing from France's Total and from a personal investment by Bill Gates.
"This is an important step forward for Liquid Metal Nattery Corporation," said Luis Ortiz, LMBC's president. "Ny securing the necessary IP infrastructure and funding from two important new-energy investors, LMBC can explore scale-up engineering and commercialisation efforts"
Patents from all liquid metal battery inventions were licensed from MIT. The technologies were invented by Donald Sadoway, John Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry at MIT, and David Bradwell , whose doctoral research in the Sadoway laboratory was on liquid metal batteries. Sadoway and Bradwell, along with Dr Luis Ortiz, are founders of LMBC.
Affordable grid-level energy storage is the linchpin for massive deployment of renewable eneergy on the electric power grid. The approach being pursued by LMBC mixes the economies of scale in electrometallurgy with use of earth-abundant elements to achieve affordable electrical energy storage.
"A key limitation to the adoption of renewable energy sources like wind and solar is the fact that they are intermittent," said Gates. "Breakthroughs in battery storage will be criticl to advancing the use of renewable on a wide scale. I'm happy to be investing in this promising technology that Don and his team are working on to bring to market."
This liquid metal battery received early sponsorship from the Desphande Centre, the Chesonis Family Foundation and Darpa.

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