|Bettergy Member Spotlight|
Bettergy Corporation, Bettergy Corporation is a privately funded company established to conceive, develop and commercialize innovative energy and environmental technologies for the military and the general public. The company is committed to commercializing its high-tech products through technology innovation, development and transitioning.
Founded in 2008, the company has assembled a proficient team with a diverse background and skill set. Working from Bettergy’s research labs in Peekskill, NY, the team of engineers has made strides in several fields, including nanomaterial science and engineering, electrochemical engineering, battery R&D and manufacturing, fuel cell development, ion conductive membrane development, gas membrane separation as well as water desalination technologies.
Bettergy specializes in energy storage technology. By designing and synthesizing nanostructured materials such as nanorods, nanodots, and mesoporous materials, the company’s engineers have been able to develop electrode materials with superior electrochemical properties. Another area of expertise is membrane separation technology as applicable to batteries, fuel cells and desalination systems.
Bettergy places great emphasis on its research in zinc-based rechargeable battery technology for electric energy storage applications. Zinc is an attractive battery material because of its low cost compared to other battery materials and its abundance in the earth’s crust. Zinc electrodes have the lowest electrochemical potential among aqueous electrolytes and yet are still rechargeable. This provides an enormous upside for the technology and makes it an exciting prospect for research and development. However, challenging problems such as dendrite growth and shape change have discouraged the widespread use of zinc electrodes to date.
Bettergy’s persistent efforts in tackling the challenging development issues associated with zinc electrodes have led to dramatic improvements in cycle life – tests of Bettergy’s technology have demonstrated thousands of cycles. Based on these results, the company is now developing a series of low-cost zinc rechargeable batteries that are designed to the meet the affordability and extended cycle expectancy needs for the electric energy storage market. The company’s development of NiZn, MnZn and zinc air rechargeable batteries is partially funded by NAVFAC (the U.S. Navy’s engineering command) and, more recently, by NYSERDA.
Thus far, a prototype battery has been successfully developed. The initial targeted market includes applications with power ranging from 5 kW to 500 kW, which include backup power, frequency regulation, peak shaving, renewable energy integration, community level energy storage and microgrid integration. The company is expected to deliver a kW-scale battery to its DoD customer within the next year. Bettergy is actively seeking private investment in order to scale up and commercialize its technology.
In the membrane technology field, Bettergy is developing hydroxide exchange membranes (HEM) for alkaline fuel cell applications. The project is funded by ONR/OSD and has led to the development of HEMs with high ionic conductivity (>70 mS/cm2 at room temperature) and, more importantly, long term stability. Membrane samples are now ready for testing by strategic partners.
Bettergy is also working on membranes for redox flow batteries along with collaborators at the University of Cincinnati. Leveraging the team’s experience with various membrane technologies, Bettergy has invented a unique “ion gate” membrane that can prevent ion crossover for redox flow battery applications. The development effort is currently funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Membrane samples will be ready for evaluation in a year.
Bettergy is an active participant in the NY-BEST program. According to Lin-Feng Li, the president of Bettergy, “NY-BEST is tremendously helpful in assisting start-ups with networking, forging partnerships, marketing and obtaining funding. We are really grateful for Bill, John and all other team members at NY-BEST for their great effort.”
The company’s long-term goal is to build a profitable business through technological innovation, spin-off and technology out-licensing. The company’s mission is to conceive, develop and commercialize innovative energy and environmental technologies that can improve people’s lives.