Announces new award by ARPA-E and Massachusetts CEC funding to support commercialization
Natick, Massachusetts, September 30, 2013. INFINIUM announced today a breakthrough in aluminum production using its patented Pure Oxygen Anode technology, providing dramatic advantages over century-old technology used throughout the world. INFINIUM also announced today that in recognition of these advantages, the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E office (ARPA-E) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) are providing grant funding to support INFINIUM’s development and commercialization of this technology. Prior to the grants, INFINUM demonstrated an early-stage approach for primary production of aluminum. The ARPA-E award will enable INFINUM to apply their early demonstrations to develop a technology that operates at lower production cost than today’s technology, uses half the energy with virtually no emissions, and which could transform the $100B global aluminum production market.
“Production of aluminum using electrolysis has made only incremental progress since the invention of the Hall-Héroult process in 1880”, comments Steve Derezinski, CEO of INFINIUM. “Our inert anodes make possible a much more efficient system design, and we are moving to accelerate development to address the market’s need for a much cleaner, lower cost approach to light metals production. Support by both ARPA-E and MassCEC validates the transformative nature of this technology, and its ability to have a major impact on how the world produces metals.”
INFINIUM is the sole manufacturer of metals with Pure Oxygen Anodes, and has already demonstrated the ability to produce Magnesium, Titanium, Tantalum, Neodymium, Dysprosium, and solar-grade silicon from their oxides. By separating the metal production chamber from anode gases, INFINIUM anodes eliminate corrosive and toxic anode gas contamination, are uniquely able to reduce cell energy losses by 60% or more, and eliminate the cost, energy, and emissions of graphite anode production. The company has identified key advantages of its technology in aluminum production as: 1) virtually eliminating CO2 emissions, which currently create 7-10 lb CO2 for every lb of aluminum produced, 2) enabling 3x-5x higher production output per footprint, and 3) reducing the cost by halving the energy required and eliminating the need for consumable graphite anodes.
ARPA-E announced winners of its Light Metals Systems program on September 19, and INFINIUM was selected as a winner for the Aluminum category. " The objective of ARPA-E’s METALS program is to find cost-effective and energy-efficient manufacturing techniques to process and recycle metals domestically,” said ARPA-E Deputy Director, Cheryl Martin. “We’re very excited to see how our new awardees working on innovative metals processing and recycling technologies could create a breakthrough for lightweight vehicles and energy applications. " As a result of the award, INFINIUM will receive $1 million in funding to accelerate the commercialization of aluminum using its process.
Contemporaneous with the ARPA-E award, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has provided a matching grant to INFINIUM in support of the advancement of the company’s aluminum production technology. “Supporting Massachusetts clean energy companies helps them advance their technology here while creating high-quality jobs in the Commonwealth,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton. “With two consecutive years of double-digit job growth in the clean energy sector, we’re seeing positive results.”
INFINIUM recently expanded its facilities in Natick, doubling its R&D capabilities, and adding key business and technology personnel.
INFINIUM is a revolutionary metals production technology company, founded in 2008 and headquartered in the Boston area, commercializing technology developed over a decade at MIT and Boston University. INFINIUM has demonstrated its process across a broad range of metals, including magnesium, titanium, tantalum, dysprosium, neodymium, solar-grade silicon and aluminum, enabling trillions of dollars of finished goods. Its mission is to lead the challenge of deploying the next generation of clean, low cost metals to address materials needs of the next 100 years. INFINIUM is privately held, and supported by investors with strong global business and technology experience, and by US Government grants and contracts.
Dr. Aaron A. Bent