Sakuú Plans to Sell Lithium Metal Pouch Cells With 300 Wh/Kg by the End of 2022

Sakuú-LM cell, with lithium metal anode and 300 Wh/kg 9 photos
Photo: Sakuú
Sakuú-LM cell, with lithium metal anode and 300 Wh/kgSakuú-LM cell, with lithium metal anode and 300 Wh/kgLithium MiningLithium MiningLithium MiningLithium MiningLithium MiningLithium Mining
One of the main advantages of solid-state batteries is that they can use lithium metal anodes thanks to their advantages in preventing dendrites. Sakuú Corporation, formerly known as KeraCel, announced it would put this anode in a regular pouch cell and that it can deliver 800 Wh/l, which translates into about 300 Wh/kg.
The higher energy density is not the only advantage this Sakuú cell offers. According to the company, it also presents a non-flammable electrolyte that makes it a lot safer than current ternary batteries in the market. The American company is calling it Sakuú-LM (Lithium Metal).

This is quite different from the first plans this company disclosed back in May 2021, when I first wrote about the startup and its technology. At the time, Sakuú was planning to make solid-state cells with additive manufacturing, aka 3D printing. This method was supposed to solve the mass-production concern that surrounds solid-state batteries. SES already said it does not believe it will be possible to reach a high manufacturing scale with them.

According to Dave Pederson, the Sakuú-LM is a way to diversify its options. The VP of Business Development said that the company “pioneered a platform technology that allows building with multiple materials using multiple processes in the same layer, an approach that enables the utilization of only essential materials needed to build batteries.”

At this point, Sakuú wants to test how flexible its new platform for producing batteries really is. Pederson is confident about that aspect of the company’s technology.

“Our Kavian platform can build multiple lines and types of batteries, including both Sakuu-LM and printed batteries (and likely other battery types). That is the goal, and we are on track to meeting it in the first half of 2023.”

This platform was called AM. However, Sakuú decided to give it a more commercial name. This production platform includes PoraLyte, “a proprietary support material that creates internal blind or open cavities within a structure. It is used in creating certain aspects of the structure of our solid-state cell.”

The battery startup did not disclose much information about this platform or what makes it so unique. For now, it is happy just to inform us that this platform will allow its first-generation Sakuu-LM to “begin to power two-wheeled EVs starting by the end of this year.”

To be more specific, this pouch cell is seen by the company as a way to test technologies that will later be used by its solid-state batteries.

“As far as a roadmap goes from the Sakuu-LM to printed batteries, the Lithium Metal battery that has achieved 800Wh/L is an impressive accomplishment that allows us to achieve high energy densities with inherent safety benefits enabled by our proprietary non-flammable electrolyte. The lithium metal battery also helps us develop and better understand the chemistry forthcoming printed batteries. Our success with the first generation Sakuú-LM shows that our team can build a better battery.”

This is the reason for the company to supply the Sakuú-LM first to two-wheeled vehicles: it wants to make sure more demanding vehicles such as cars will get these better batteries the company is confident that it can produce.

“It’s important to note that beyond two and four-wheeled use, Sakuú is actively engaged with clients across broad spectrums of use. Essentially, any electrification application, industrial or consumer, that has an engine or requires power in any size or format is an ideal client for Sakuú’s battery lines, given the performance, safety, and eventual customizability attributes of our batteries.”

If you are as curious about the printed solid-state batteries as we were, Pederson said some companies would start to get them pretty soon.

“As far as the printed battery, sampling will begin to major automotive companies and companies across a wide range of industrial applications, starting next year. Sample cells of the printed battery are anticipated to ship to clients in the first half of 2023.”
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Editor's note: The gallery includes images of lithium mining.

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About the author: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
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Motoring writer since 1998, Gustavo wants to write relevant stories about cars and their shift to a sustainable future.
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