South Africa-based Technifin and Canadian company, Hydro-Québec have signed an intellectual property (IP) partnership deal to license their respective IP in lithium titanate spinel oxide (LTO) technologies, with focus on lithium-ion battery applications.
LTO technology offers high cycle life and long-term safety to lithium-ion batteries when it is utilized as anodes. Press releases and technical papers issued by Hydro-Québec and other firms have emphasized various superior advantages of LTO technology such as unprecedented safety, quick recharge times and high cycle life.
The patents of Technifin and Hydro-Québec include two individual groups of patent rights offering widespread global protection for LTO technology. The first group is the Technifin patents that deal with the fundamental utilization of the LTO anodes in lithium-ion cells. Dr. Michael Thackeray invented these LTO anodes in 1994 when served at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa.
The second group is the Hydro-Québec patents that cover the prospects of LTO identified by Dr. Karim Zaghib in 1995 at IREQ, the research institute of Hydro-Québec. Dr. Zaghib then developed, enhanced and patented the unique features of LTO technology. The decision by the two companies to license their respective LTO IP paves way to the commercialization of superior quality LTO materials to meet the demand for dependable LTO sources from the global automotive and battery industries. Quick and effective integration of the technology in battery solutions will be done through technology transfer and expertise along with support of Hydro-Québec scientists. The LTO technology’s unprecedented capabilities will be beneficial to several novel applications such as hybrid and electric vehicle batteries and stationary energy storage purposes for smart grid applications.