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BCGDV, Unifrax, and Clearlake partners for advanced li-ion battery silicon anode tech

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BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV), corporate innovation and business building arm of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Unifrax, provider of high-performance specialty materials backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., has announced that the two companies are co-operating on SiFAB™, Unifrax's patented silicon fiber anode battery technology for improving energy density, accelerating charges, and lengthening battery life.

SiFAB, which can be added to existing battery production processes, addresses a critical barrier to the mass adoption of electric vehicles and the broader transition to clean renewable energy. The technology also has wide-ranging implications for the future of electric vehicles, power tools, portable electronics, and grid storage — all of which can benefit from the superior performance, longer battery life, and reduced size and weight that SiFAB delivers.

After several years of R&D, Unifrax sought collaboration with BCGDV to validate SiFAB's market opportunity and performance characteristics, establish competitive benchmarks, and confirm the company's scale-up plans. The team is now focusing on commercialization, as Unifrax works toward the production of SiFAB in early 2022. In a move to advance the building of thousands of tons of long-term manufacturing capacity, Unifrax recently announced plans to establish its first large-scale SiFAB manufacturing line, at its north-central Indiana facility.

"SiFAB is a breakthrough for the battery industry and will accelerate the transition to renewable energy," said John Dandolph, CEO of Unifrax. "Our collaboration with BCG Digital Ventures combines our success in manufacturing and fiber-based technology with the firm's expertise in accelerating innovative and sustainable ventures. Working together, we can create a significant impact for customers, stakeholders, and advanced industries worldwide."

"Today's climate and environmental challenges are an existential threat that can be addressed only through decisive action by the world's most ambitious corporations, entrepreneurs, institutions, and investors," said Raju Sarma, Managing Director and Partner and Social Impact global practice area lead for BCG Digital Ventures.

"BCG believes that SiFAB is uniquely positioned to lead the evolution of lithium-ion battery technology, in part due to the significant energy density gains enabled by its drop-in technology, as well as to Unifrax's large-scale manufacturing capabilities and facilities around the world. Our team is excited to continue our collaboration with Unifrax to bring this technology to market at a rapid pace and help advance the global transition to a zero-carbon economy."

To further its commitment to its decarbonization and sustainability agenda, BCGDV recently announced the launch of BCG Green Ventures. The new offering with a dedicated team will focus on BCG's mission to accelerate climate action through corporate innovation, enabling clients to create value through their ESG initiatives while helping the world address today's climate and environmental challenges. BCG Green Ventures will leverage BCGDV's previous climate innovation work, its ecosystem of partners, and BCG's broader commitment to invest in, co-develop, and scale innovative ventures as a long-term partner. The initiative will also draw on BCG's cross-sector climate innovation expertise.

"Established corporations have significant assets at their disposal—from market position, expertise, and ecosystems to their capital reserves — that put them in an advantageous position to reap the rewards in the move to the decarbonization economy. Harnessing our deep technology and sector-specific expertise, as well as our proven track record in corporate innovation, we look forward to continuing to support organizations in unlocking growth opportunities in climate innovation," added Sarma, who also leads the BCG Green Ventures team.

Author : Debi Dash
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