Non-lithium battery startup nets $78 million Series C funding


Massachusetts-based Alsym Energy announced it has secured $78 million in Series C funding, with funds provided by Tata Limited, General Catalyst, Thombest and Drads Capital. The funds are expected to help the company expand prototyping and pilot lines for its batteries.

Alsym develops a metal-oxide battery that uses similar chemical mechanisms as lithium-ion batteries, with a working ion shuttling between anode and cathode materials. The company said it uses inherently non-flammable materials and uses a water-based electrolyte. Battery fires are a known risk to conventional lithium-ion batteries.

The company said the chemistry is dendrite-free, which makes it immune to conditions that cause thermal runaway, the main cause of fire in lithium batteries.

The startup venture has disclosed that its electrode is manganese oxide, but other critical details have not been shared. It currently provides prototype samples, but no finished product is available for purchase.

(Read: “Can anything topple lithium-ion?”)

Alsym said its batteries can serve grid-scale use cases, charging and discharging intermittent solar and wind generation. The batteries can discharge between 4 to 110 hours.

The company’s first product, called Alsym Green, is targeting 3.4 MWh per 40 foot container, which it said is higher than other non-lithium battery alternatives available on the market today.

Alsym said its batteries will serve a wide range of other use cases including home energy storage, marine and maritime battery storage, small vehicles and passenger electric vehicles.

Despite this broad vision for its prototype stage battery, Alsym’s management said there is no one-size-fits-all chemistry for battery use cases.

“As the clean energy transition accelerates, it’s becoming more apparent that a single battery technology is not ideal for every use case, and that more options are needed to help address the challenges of a changing climate,” said Mukesh Chatter, chief executive officer and co-founder of Alsym Energy.

The company noted a non-lithium ion based battery may be desirable in a global market with competitive and constrained lithium supply chains.

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