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Arvada, CO, United States

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 1.09M | Year: 2012

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project is targeted at the development of a novel, low-cost continuous method for the production of ionic liquids. Ionic liquids are a class of industrial chemicals with broad applications in energy, pharmaceutical, biomass and solar fields. Ionic liquids are leading candidates for electrolytes in advanced batteries and capacitors where they enable non-flammable, longer-lived batteries that store more energy than current models. While the potential of ionic liquids is significant, the current cost is prohibitive. Boulder Ionics Corporation proposes to develop a novel, cost-effective method for producing ionic liquids in industrial volumes. The highly flexible technique enables continuous production of ionic liquids with low capital cost. It eliminates the use of solvents in the synthesis process, and produces a very high purity product. In Phase II the company will develop the novel synthesis process, demonstrate low-cost ways of making key precursors, and develop techniques for purifying and measuring the purity of the products. Successful completion of the program will result in low-cost, high-performance electrolytes for advanced energy storage.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to make ionic liquids cost-effective in a wide range of industries. Ionic liquids can replace volatile organic solvents in a vast range of industrial processes, are leading candidates for biomass processing, and have broad applications in electrochemistry, advanced batteries, supercapacitors/ultracapacitors and as heat transfer fluids in advanced concentrating solar plants. In addition, our innovative synthesis technique has broad application across the chemical industry. Cost-effective ionic liquids are critical elements of the new energy economy, with applications in biomass, solar power, and grid-scale energy storage. Techniques developed in this research will enhance scientific understanding of novel chemical reactors, leading to a new generation of more efficient and less-polluting chemical plants. Knowledge gained in this program will enable technologies that will enhance U.S. energy security, and strengthen the emerging U.S. battery industry.

Provided are a system and method for storing electrical power with an electrochemical device with a ionic liquid electrolyte having a metal coordination cation. More specifically, the device includes a positive electrode; a negative electrode; and an ionic liquid electrolyte statically disposed between the positive electrode and the negative electrode, the ionic liquid electrolyte having a metal coordination cation. The device may be structured and arranged to permit the metal in the electrolyte to undergo redox reactions such that the electrolyte functions at least in part as both an electrolyte and as an electrode. An associated method of use is also provided.

Boulder Ionics Corporation | Date: 2013-12-20

The present invention provides a process for producing a compound comprising a perfluorinated alkyl group moiety from a carbonyl compound. Typically, the process includes contacting a carbonyl compound with a silane compound in the presence of a fluorohydrogenate ionic liquid under conditions sufficient to produce a compound comprising a perfluorinated alkyl group. The silane compound includes a perfluoroalkyl group.

Boulder Ionics Corporation | Date: 2013-11-04

The invention provides a method for producing fluorotrifluoromethylsulfonyl imide (FTFSI) by reacting non-fluorohalogenated trihalomethylsulfonyl imide (XTXSI) with hydrogen fluoride, where each X is independently a nonfluoro-halide, such as Cl, Br, or I.

News Article | February 20, 2014
Site: www.xconomy.com

Building better batteries is one of the biggest challenges in cleantech—if not all of tech. Experts believe more efficient and stable energy storage systems could make electric vehicles cheaper and safer, allow the military to power vital equipment, and create ways for utilities to store excess energy they generate. Boulder Ionics, a startup based in Arvada, CO, is taking up the challenge, along with a partner in Australia, following a licensing agreement announced Wednesday. Boulder Ionics makes technology it believes will help create a new generation of battery and energy storage technology—but not batteries themselves. It is a chemicals and materials company that makes electrolytes and ionic liquids for advanced battery systems, according to Tim Bradow, its vice president of business development. “We’re an enabling technology,” Bradow said. “We make one of the key materials for next-generation energy storage devices for electric vehicles and grid storage.” Creating batteries that use ionic liquids—which are salts in a liquid state below 100 degrees Celsius—as electrolytes could be a major breakthrough. Such batteries could be higher-voltage, store more energy, and also be safer than the current generation of lithium-ion batteries, Bradow said. “You greatly improve the safety of a lithium-ion battery because ionic liquids are inherently non-flammable and inherently safe, which is the complete opposite of what’s used today,” Bradow said. In addition to electric vehicles, potential use cases include utilities storing energy produced by renewable sources in ionic liquid batteries, he said. The company announced Wednesday it has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia’s national science agency. Boulder Ionics will develop and commercialize a type of ionic liquid developed by the agency to make electrolytes for lithium-ion and other advanced chemistry batteries. Boulder Ionics has raised about $8 million in outside funding, with $4.8 million coming from venture capitalists including Pangaea Ventures, 9th Street Investments, CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund, and JSR Corporation. The rest is from grants from sources including the National Science Foundation and the Air Force, Bradow said. It’s still pre-revenue, but Bradow said the company could begin generating revenue in the second half of 2014. The startup, which was founded in 2011, believes it is in the position to be the first company to create ionic liquids on an industrial scale, Bradow said.

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