To conceive a business idea is indisputably ground breaking. However, to execute it to fruition requires skills, ingrained expertise, and determined vision–traits that run in the genes of Linda Zhong. With a doctorate in Materials Science and Technology, Linda is one of the few entrepreneurs who possess the zeal to translate her ideas into working business models. One of the latest contributions that speak volumes of Linda’s proficiency is the introduction of the activated dry electrode process for manufacturing of low-cost sustainable lithium-ion batteries.

Throughout her journey as a materials science expert, Linda observed the many inconsistencies that prevailed in the ultracapacitors and battery market. One of the significant constraints was the use of a wet slurry manufacturing process that is not only toxic and expensive but also poses environmental threats. The conventional wet electrode fabrication is very energy-intensive, has a large manufacturing footprint, and uses significant amounts of highly toxic and expensive solvents. All these factors contribute to the higher overall product costs and, in addition, raise questions about the sustainability of ultracapacitors and lithium-ion batteries.

To change this narrative, Linda, who is currently the President and CTO of LICAP Technologies, worked incessantly with her team to make activated dry battery electrodes the manufacturing norm. LICAP’s innovative manufacturing approach requires minimum to no solvents and completely eliminates the need to install and to run large energy-consuming drying ovens. The company has already successfully integrated the innovative manufacturing method in its commercial-scale production of ultracapacitor electrodes. Most recently LICAP has been producing prototype lithium-ion battery cells with activated dry electrodes and most recently, started the development of a pilot line for activated dry battery electrodes. “We are excited to introduce this new electrode production technology and we believe it will be a game-changer for the lithium-ion battery industry,” remarks Linda. Activated dry battery electrodes have the potential to drastically reduce the manufacturing costs of the lithium-ion cell production, while reducing the overall environmental footprint of the battery value chain.

LICAP was founded in 2016 with the aim to develop ultracapacitor products using unique methodologies that give it an edge over its competitors. Over the years, it has emerged as one of the leading manufacturers of supercapacitors and lithium-ion capacitors (LIC) across the globe.
The company has already moved the needle in the power electronics space with its UPS systems for bridge power, graceful power down, voltage stabilization, and other purposes in various operations like mining, electric rails, wind turbines, and its likes. With its state-of-the-art activated dry electrode technology, LICAP is committed to adding dimensions to the capacitor landscape.

Lithium-ion capacitor is one of the newest additions to the LICAP’s product portfolio. When compared to ultracapacitors, LICs are indisputably the preferred choice of users. The activated dry electrode prevents leakage of current, and, therefore LICAP’s LICs demonstrate very low self-discharge of less than 15 percent over three months. Also, LICs store much more energy than the ultracapacitor in the same volume, and therefore occupy less space in a system. Brian Eichler, VP, Global Sales, LICAP Technologies, says, “Typical UC’s are rated at 2.7-3 volts per cell, and can store approximately .26Wh of usable energy in a cell that is the same size as a D cell battery. For comparison, the same size LIC cell is rated at 3.8V and can store 1Wh of usable energy, which is almost 4 times more energy."

While the new activated dry battery electrode is in evaluation and verification at multiple major OEMs before entering mass-scale production, LICAP continues to transition the power electronics market with its Activated Dry electrode material and already-existing UCs. The company currently manufactures its proprietary activated dry electrode and LICs at Sacramento, while the UC cells and modules are assembled at a LICAP facility in China. With innovation at its core, LICAP is looking forward to optimizing its output by catering to a diverse clientele from various demographics. All in all, LICAP is leaving no stone unturned in cementing its position in the power electronics paradigm.