Montréal, January 31, 2020
Hydro-Québec to work on commercializing patents co-invented by Nobel Prize laureate John B. Goodenough and Professor M. Helena Braga
Hydro-Québec and The University of Texas at Austin are pleased to announce the signing of an agreement for the transfer to Hydro-Québec of patents co?invented by Dr. John B. Goodenough, a professor at The University of Texas at Austin and the 2019 Nobel Laureate in chemistry, and Dr. Maria Helena Braga, an associate professor at the University of Porto, Portugal. These patents relate to a new type of electrolyte to be used in solid-state lithium batteries, which Hydro-Québec’s team of researchers will integrate into a battery with the goal of bringing it to the commercialization stage.
“We are very pleased that Dr. Goodenough’s team is reiterating its confidence in Hydro-Québec by choosing us to bring their technology to market,” said Karim Zaghib, General Director of the Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage and the 2019 laureate of the Lionel-Boulet Award, the highest distinction awarded by the Québec government in the field of research and development in the industrial sector.
The relationship between The University of Texas at Austin and Hydro-Québec has been long-standing and fruitful. The two institutions have been collaborating for 25 years. Previous agreements have allowed Hydro-Québec to bring previous University of Texas at Austin patents to the licensing stage and helped bring to market battery innovations that are now used all over the world in a wide range of electronic products. “The partnership with Hydro-Quebec has provided the critical technology development needed for commercial production of intellectual property generated at The University of Texas at Austin,” said Dr. Goodenough.
Lithium-ion batteries, an invention largely credited to the work of Dr. Goodenough, are the most common type of battery used in electronics and electric vehicles today. Solid-state batteries are considered a safer alternative to present-day lithium-ion batteries, as they do not use flammable liquid electrolytes. In addition, they have a high energy density and are long-lasting, light and much cheaper, making them ideal for the electric transportation market. This technology may be the key to both a greater driving range and greater safety, helping to secure the future of electric vehicle batteries. Hydro-Québec developed a first-generation solid-state battery in the 1990s and has continued research and development work on improving both efficiency and manufacturing methods with a view to production of a new generation of batteries.
Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. It is Canada’s largest electricity producer and one of the world’s largest hydroelectric power producers. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government. It uses mainly renewable generating options, in particular large hydropower. Its research institute, IREQ, conducts R&D in energy efficiency, energy storage, and various other energy-related fields. www.hydroquebec.com/en
About the Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage
For 40 years, Hydro-Québec has been recognized around the world for its technological expertise and its portfolio of intellectual property in the area of battery materials. This work is carried out by the Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage, a world-class innovation hub that strives to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and to develop storage systems for the integration of renewable energy sources. The Center of Excellence commercializes Hydro-Québec’s technologies, which are protected by over 100 patent families. In fact, the Center’s scientists reinvented the energy of the future when Hydro-Québec became the first company in the world to use lithium iron phosphate (LFP) for grid-scale energy storage.
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