Energy Storage for Li-Ion Batteries and Supercapacitors

 

 

 

 

Helping Great Companies Grow
Learn More About This Transaction

Industry

Technology/ Industrial Manufacturing

Company Type

Energy Storage / Clean Technology / Clean Energy

Location

U.S.

Size

$52.5 Million

Investment Type

Equity/Debt
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Helping Great Companies Grow

Overview

NTherma Corporation develops and produces carbon nanomaterials for high performance energy storage in Li-ion batteries (LIBs) and supercapacitors. Seeking $52.52 million equity (sponsor equity of $2.43 million) to construct a graphene production facility in Sparks/Reno, Nevada and to expand research, development and marketing.

  • Proprietary carbon nanomaterial technology provides highly desirable material properties and methods for energy storage in LIBs and supercapacitors
  • Easy “drop-in” to existing graphene production using NTherma technology encourages adaption by LIB and supercapacitor manufacturers
  • Commercial-scale – low-cost average production (expected scale-up to 20 tons per annum by year 5)
    • permitting – only renovation permits required (in-process)
    • facility site – lease-to-purchase (LOI in-place)
    • engineering, procurement & construction – CalPacific Systems – (LOI in-place)
    • architects – H+K Architects (LOI in-place)
    • consultants – CFBR Structural Group, Ainsworth Associates Mechanical Engineers, PL Electrical – (LOI in-place)
    • off-take agreements – (in-process)
  • Huge global market for LIBs and supercapacitors – new markets with a wide range of applications
  • Management team has deep expertise
    • research, development and commercialization of carbon nanomaterials-based technology
    • 20+ years in top-tier institutions – NASA Research Ames, IBM, Lam Research & Applied Materials, Stanford University
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Proprietary Carbon Nanomaterial Technology

  • NTherma technology unlocks mass production of graphene nanoribbons (GNR; NTherma expects to trademark as “Graphene Molecular Wire”) – solving existing production limitations of carbon nanomaterials
  • Huge improvement in energy storage performance at little if any increased costs
    • more than 2x energy density
    • 5x faster charging rates
    • customizable to end-use application
  • Proprietary technology
    • U.S. patents – 2 granted, 2 pending
    • international patents pending
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Easy “Drop-In” Graphene Production

  • NTherma process technology encourages adaption by LIB and supercapacitor manufacturers
    • low-cost and consistent high-quality production – solves prior high-cost and inconsistent quality problems
    • minimal modifications to existing LIB production – uses existing manufacturing processes and equipment
    • highly scalable to commercial scale – demonstrated pilot plant (early 2019)
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Opportunity

  • Huge $146 billion global market for rechargeable batteries (88% of market) and supercapacitors (12%) – CAGR of over 18%
  • Research by companies and universities demonstrated new material sets for batteries
    • higher performance of Li-ion batteries (LIBs) and superconductors with the addition of single-walled CNTs and graphene
      • higher electrical and thermal conductivities
      • higher mechanical strength
      • increased energy density by 250% with 5x faster charging rate at little if any additional cost
      • leads to less expensive EVs which encourages market adaption
  • $40 billion global market for LIBs and supercapacitors
    • new markets with a wide range of applications – from healthcare to computer/space/ocean technology to industrial/auto manufacturing
    • NTherma is a low-cost producer – leads to less expensive electric vehicles (EVs) and stationary storage – encourages market adaption
Helping Great Companies Grow

Problem – Poor Performance Characteristics

  • Existing production methods for carbon nanomaterials are not commercially viable
    • high cost and inconsistent quality prevented commercial adaption
    • few layers (less than 5) graphene – greater than $50,000 per kilogram
    • high impurity reflecting feedstock graphite composition
    • low control of structures for graphene
  • Tesla (since 2014) and Samsung (since 2018) have been trying to develop LIBs with graphene
  • Current carbon nanomaterial sets use carbon black which have poor performance characteristics
    • low energy density – low electrical connections to active particles
    • low charging rates – low electrical conductivity in electrode layer
    • low heat dissipation and safety problems – high layer electrical resistance
    • large product variation – high variations in performance characteristics require binning in LIB production
Helping Great Companies Grow

Solution/Strategy

NTherma proprietary carbon nanomaterial technology provides highly desirable material properties and methods for energy storage in LIBs and supercapacitors

  • Substitution of carbon black with more conducting graphene and/or CNTs improves electrical connection of active materials for higher capacity and charging rates
    • huge improvement in energy storage performance at little if any increased costs
  • Solves prior production problems of cost and quality which had prevented commercial development
    • scalable to industrial volumes at relatively low capital expenditures
    • unlocks mass production of GNRs – solves critical supply chain limitations of carbon nanomaterials for energy storage
    • easy “drop-in” to current graphene production – encourages adaption by current LIB and supercapacitor manufacturers
  • Revenues
    • B2B sales of GNRs to energy storage manufacturers
    • projected first revenues within six months of funding
Helping Great Companies Grow

NTherma – Commercial-Scale Facility for Multiple Products

  • Commercial-scale graphene production facility – Sparks/Reno, Nevada
    • low-cost producer – average (over five years) production of 11 tons per annum (conservative estimate of scale-up to over 20 tons per annum by year five)
    • product pricing near $5,000 per kilogram
    • low capital expenditures – short timeline for the manufacture of new production equipment
    • scalable and modular for increased volume production
    • permitting – only renovation permits required
    • facility site – lease-to-purchase (LOI in-place)
    • engineering, procurement & construction (EPC)/management – CalPacific Systems – (LOI in-place)
    • architects – H+K Architects (LOI in-place)
    • consultants – CFBR Structural Group, Ainsworth Associates Mechanical Engineers, PL Electrical – (LOI in-place)
    • off-take agreements – (in-process)
Helping Great Companies Grow

NTherma – Proprietary and Customizable CNTs / GNRs

  • NTherma proprietary CNTs and GNRs for energy storage
    • high quality consistency
    • high purity (+99.5%)
    • customizable length GNRs
    • improves electrical conductivity in electrode layers
    • higher energy density and faster charging rates
  • Patents (U.S.) – 2 granted and 2 applications
    • NTherma, US Patent -Vertically Aligned Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes, US 10,640,382 B2 (May 5, 2020)
    • NTherma, US Patent -Graphene Nanoribbons, Graphene Nanoplatelets and Mixtures Thereof and Methods of Synthesis, US 10,640,384 B2 (May 5, 2020)
    • NTherma, US Patent Application – Methods and Devices for Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes, US 2020/0062595 A1 (Feb 27, 2020)
    • NTherma, USPTO – Provisional Patent Application – Graphene Nanoribbons as Electrode Materials in Energy Storage Devices, US 63/174,154 (Apr 21, 2021)
Helping Great Companies Grow

Management

Cattien V. Nguyen

Co-Founder & President

Over twenty years in research and development with expertise in the commercialization and management of CNT technologies. Senior research positions at NASA Ames Research Center, IBM Almaden Research Center and Stanford University. Founder, CEO and CTO of Ulora, Inc., which developed and commercialized CNT-based energy storage supercapacitors. Published over 80 papers, four book chapters and over 10 patents (granted and pending). PhD in Bioinorganic Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz and BS in Chemistry from Santa Clara University.

Thuy Ngo

Co-Founder & Vice President of Investor Relations / Business Development

Over ten years in investment and operations. Expertise in managing cross-functional, cross-cultural team, building strategic partnerships and global distribution networks. Past Director of International Sales at SBrown & Associates and Investment Management Sales Associate at Bank of NY Mellon. BA in Communication Studies from University of San Francisco.

Anthony Vu

Co-Founder & Facilities Operational Manager

Over fifteen years in operation and facility management for small businesses and start-ups. Expertise in managing all phases of administration and finance. Developed and implemented standard office administrative procedures to facilitate smooth business operations and compliance with policies. Prior Operations Manager of Series A funding round at Ultora Inc and 4WindScience and Engineering for the development and commercialization of CNT-based energy storage supercapacitor. BS in Finance from California State University at East Bay.

Jon Heinemann

Chief Financial Officer

Over 15 years in executive management and finance. CEO of ELORET Corporation – managed new technology rights and contract activities (previously included three major NASA contracts and employed almost 100 scientists and engineers). Previously, Design Engineer for The North Face – developed outdoor equipment and for Alten Water Treatment – developed ozone water treatment systems (one patent granted).  MBA from Santa Clara University. BS in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University.

CONTACT US

Hi. We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Thanks, Ken

Ken Margolis | Managing Partner Castle Placement, LLC
1460 Broadway Street, Rte 400
New York, New York 10036
(212) 418-1188 | C: (516) 712-7784
kmargolis@castleplacement.com

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