Start-up LeydenJar is opening a pilot plant in Eindhoven for the production of a new generation of batteries with 50 percent more energy storage. In the pilot plant, which will open in mid-2020, LeydenJar, together with a number of partners, wants to demonstrate that the self-designed revolutionary batteries can indeed be produced at the same cost as traditional Lithium-ion batteries. The spectacular increase in energy storage is possible thanks to the use of a porous silicon structure patented by LeydenJar.

In the former OTB building, LeydenJar has a 400 m2 factory hall to operate both the demo plant and the prototype machine that is still on the High Tech Campus, also in Eindhoven. “It’s going very well, we’re already making the first silicon anode rollers,” says Christian Rood, founder of LeydenJar. “I expect to be able to do the first commercial production batches in the middle of next year, in cooperation with battery manufacturers and the industry.

Rood expects that the new technology, developed in collaboration with research institute TNO, will bring about a huge breakthrough. “With current technology, it is difficult to put even more energy into a battery. LeydenJar makes a 50% leap possible, without major changes to the production process. With this, we are taking big steps in the growing demand for energy storage. That is of great importance in applications such as electric driving, electric flying, consumer electronics and storage of renewable energy.”

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    According to Rood, LeydenJar’s new silicon anode technology offers great opportunities for the giant battery factories needed in Europe to meet demand. “Together with BOM Brabant Ventures, DOEN Participatie, and informal investors, the European Union is, therefore, investing some €4 million in the project.” Rood does not elaborate on which investor is responsible for which part of that amount.

    “Better and cheaper batteries accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy system”, says Wouter van Westenbrugge of DOEN Participaties. “LeydenJar’s technology can have a major impact on this. This will make the energy transition cheaper and therefore more accessible for everyone in society.”

    According to Marc de Haas, a Business Developer at BOM Brabant Ventures, LeydenJar’s initiative also offers opportunities for other companies in Brabant. “They can play an important role in a market that is crucial for the energy transition.”

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.