Concept: Texas-based advanced rechargeable battery startup Zeta Energy has developed a high-performance, low-cost, safe, and sustainable battery for the EV and energy storage markets. Its lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery system includes a customized cathode as well as a patented anode. The sulfur-based system can ostensibly exceed existing metal-based materials in terms of stability and concentration.

Nature of Disruption: The patented sulfurized carbon material developed by the firm inhibits the polysulfide shuttle effect, which seemingly has long stifled progress in Li-S batteries. Zeta’s sulfur-based cathodes are also fundamentally price-effective, have a high capacity, do not require cobalt, nickel, or manganese, and significantly simplify and safeguard the supply chain. Zeta Energy has also invented lithium metal anodes that, as claimed, can surpass other current and advanced anode technologies. They are made of graphene nanotubes with dendrite-free morphology of Li metal anode leveraging Zeta ‘GCNT-Li’ technology. Zeta Energy claims that the anodes overtop other present and advanced anode technologies with notably higher gravimetric density than other major anode chemistries and zero dendrites that generally form on pure lithium metal anodes. Moreover, the battery systems are sustainably sourced and recyclable and can help curb environmental concerns like pollution.

Outlook: Zeta Energy claims that its technology has been thoroughly tested and has shown better performance than present Li-ion batteries. It boasts that the system’s anode and cathode respectively have 10X and 5X capacities, offer 5X improved charge rate, and have 20X better shelf life when compared to Panasonic 18650 system. Because of their greater density, lesser cost, and superior safety profile than today’s batteries, they potentially allow electrification breakthroughs that help address climate change and democratize energy generation. In December 2021, the startup moved into a new facility in Houston, Texas to advance material chemistry and process development for its Li-S battery technology. Recently in February 2022, it commenced its $23M Series A round led by Moore Strategic Ventures. It aims to leverage the wealth accumulated to expand its Houston laboratory facility and further commercialization works for its sustainable battery technology with anticipation of keeping the battery cost below $70 kWh at a commercial scale.

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