October 15, 2018

Moulton Announces $1M Federal Grant for Amastan Technologies to Develop Advanced Materials for Electric Vehicle Batteries

Salem, MA – Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) announced today that MA-based, North Andover Amastan Technologies, a leading producer of high-value, advanced materials using microwave plasma production systems, 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 Amastan’s completion of a successful Phase I program to develop cathode materials using its proprietary UniMelt™ advanced manufacturing platform.

“Amastan Technologies is just one of the many innovative technology companies in the 6th Congressional District,” said Moulton. “They are an outstanding example of applying technology to improving energy storage for electric vehicles, which is key to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and addressing the challenges posed by climate change. I am thrilled to support Amastan Technologies in its quest to reduce battery costs while also adding new advanced manufacturing jobs to our region.”

“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 Amastan Technologies. “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 Amastan’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 cost, and improving the capacity and energy density of these materials by increasing their nickel content.

Amastan 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 to just 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, PhD, 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.”