NOHMs Technologies, Inc. was founded in October 2010 to commercialize advanced materials technology for lithium ion batteries. “NOHMs” stands for Nanoscale Organic Hybrid Materials, a unique nanomaterial platform that was invented by Cornell University Professor Lynden A. Archer, a co-founder of the company. The company is licensing five inventions from the university and continues to build on the materials platforms developed there.
NOHMs. is developing lightweight electrode and electrolyte materials that have the potential to supply more than twice the energy at half the cost of lithium-ion batteries that are currently used in consumer, commercial, and military devices. NOHMs is partnering with battery and product OEMs and five federal agencies to commercialize these materials for use in military radios, mobile military base energy storage, implantable medical devices, air and spacecraft, mobile phones, and electric vehicles. The company estimates that its materials products address a $14 billion market opportunity.
Higher energy density means longer-life batteries, increased functionality for consumer products, and longer range for electric vehicles – from spacecraft to passenger cars. NOHMs lithium-sulfur cells could deliver more than 800 Watt-hours per kilogram, which is four times the energy of today’s lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-sulfur has the highest theoretical capacity (1,672 mAh/g) of any solid-state lithium-ion chemistry, ten times more than traditional lithium-ion. Beyond its performance capabilities, NOHMs believes that lithium-sulfur is the only lithium-ion chemistry that could achieve a less than $100 per kWh manufactured cell cost and therefore reach price-parity with lead acid batteries.
Originally headquartered in Ithica, New York, NOHMs is closing its existing R&D facility and relocating its manufacturing development and pilot plant operations to Eastman Business Park in Rochester, NY, and advanced cell design and R&D to the KY-Argonne Battery Lab in Lexington, KY. NOHMs is converting 8,000-square feet of excess office and lab space at Eastman Business Park’s Building 320 into a research, development and advanced manufacturing facility for lithium ion battery materials.
Funding for NOHMs’ pilot battery material manufacturing facility at Eastman Business Park (EBP) in Rochester was enabled in part on the strength of a $1M economic development award through Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council Initiative. The company has also received additional awards totaling several million dollars from technology and manufacturing development granting agencies. These include $1M from the National Science Foundation for materials technology R&D, $1.15M from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for product and manufacturing development, and multiple contracts from the DoD, NASA, and NIH for advanced battery development.
As part of the project, NOHMs is partnering with the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) and its BEST Test and Commercialization Center, which will provide access to testing and prototyping equipment to help energy storage manufacturers such as NOHMs accelerate the development and commercialization of new technologies and products.
NOHMs Technologies CEO Nathan Ball said, “Rochester is a natural fit for a materials company transitioning to manufacturing development because of the 100-plus year history of advanced materials innovation and manufacturing. Governor Cuomo, the Finger Lakes Regional Council, and state organizations like NYSERDA, ESD and NY-BEST are investing aggressively in advanced manufacturing infrastructure and businesses that are developing tomorrow’s technology-driven products. We are happy to be a part of the excitement and growth in this sector in this region, and the resources and facilities that are available to us in Rochester and at Eastman Business Park will enable us to be successful in a very competitive high-risk, high-rewards industry.”
NOHMs has been developing new electrolyte, separator, and electrode materials to enable a new generation of high-performance, economical batteries. With its relocation to its new facilities, the company is beginning the transition from an R&D company to a manufacturer and supplier of materials to the battery industry.