Organic flow battery developer nets $106 million growth investment


Petaluma, California-based CMBlu announced it received $106.7 million of equity investment from global infrastructure group STRABAG SE to scale its long-duration energy storage technology. 

CMBlu’s product combines advantages of both redox flow batteries and solid-state batteries. Its product, called the Organic SolidFlow, offers independent scaling of power and energy without sacrificing energy density. 

The technology is built on safe, abundant, and recyclable materials, said the company. Its energy storage devices do not rely on conflict or rare materials. 

CMBlu is currently developing multiple pilot projects in the U.S. and Europe to demonstrate its technology. It has active projects with WEC Energy Group in Wisconsin, Salt River Project in Arizona and several sites in Europe. 

While former redox flow batteries use metals, the company’s Organic SolidFlow batteries use carbon-based molecules for its electrolytes. The company said certain carbon-based molecules naturally can oxidized and reduced or charged and discharged. These molecules are essential elements in the “redox” reactions that power all living cells. 

“Nature had a choice to use metal or organic molecules to store and release energy. It chose organic. So are we,” said CMBlu. 

The storage devices are intended for use in large stationary projects. The company said it has a “potentially unlimited” cycle life with proper maintenance. It offers up to 90% efficiency, approaching the 95% efficiency of lithium-ion alternatives. It also can be easily scaled to GWh scale, said the company. 

“To become reality, the energy transition will require storage capacity measured in terawatts,” added CMBlu chief executive officer and founder Peter Geigle. “Only with very large storage capacities can GHG reduction goals be met. Our Organic SolidFlow batteries can be scaled up to the gigawatt-hour range, which enables the balance between renewable energy supply and essential energy demand – even without wind or sun.” 

STRABAG said the investment will help it achieve its goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2040. The company said it intend to become a full-range supplier of energy services for its projects. 

“The game changer for the energy transition is safe and sustainable long-duration storage that can make renewable energy available when needed,” explains Klemens Haselsteiner, chief executive officer of STRABAG. 

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