November 15, 2023: Gelion said on November 9 it is set to acquire UK lithium sulfur firm OXLiD in a deal worth up to around £4.2 million ($5.2 million) — and put Li-S back on the roadmap as a next-generation battery chemistry contender in sectors such as energy storage and EVs.
Gelion said the acquisition, which OXLiD’s shareholders should approve this month, will pave the way to establish an R&D hub in the UK that can work with potential European partners and expand links with universities and research institutions focused on Li-S.
Anglo-Australian firm Gelion has also announced a proposed two-tranche equity fund-raising of up to £4.5 million, before expenses, to help fund the acquisition, boost working capital and fund a new zinc cathode feasibility assessment.
In a related move, Gelion also announced a retail offer for shareholders in the UK and qualifying shareholders in Australia to raise up to an additional maximum £450,000 through the issue of up to 1,875,000 retail shares. The offer closes later this month.
OXLiD is dedicated to the commercialization of Li-S batteries for electrified transportation and sustainable energy storage in the aerospace, maritime and EV markets.
The takeover of OXLiD will include an IP portfolio that Gelion said will increase the group’s ability to build on intellectual property with Johnson Matthey and Oxis Energy — speeding up eventual product validation and commercialization in the rapidly emerging Li-S market.
OXLiD has filed five patent families in the last 24 months to protect tech advancements to date.
OXLiD has an option for a licence agreement with the University of Nottingham for the use of catalysts to increase charge/discharge rates. It also has an exclusive development licence with the University of Oxford to research into increasing cycle life in lithium metal batteries.
Gelion said its strengthened group plans to establish a lab at a “top UK university” to build on OXLiD’s relationships with members of the LiSTAR (Lithium Sulfur Technology Accelerator) program, which is one of 10 Faraday Institution projects aiming to place the UK at the forefront of battery development.
OXLiD has already secured over £1.4 million in grant funding through the Faraday Battery Challenge and other programs.
Gelion said areas of technology that OXLiD has been developing complements its own work in establishing electrolytes that can support multiple anode chemistries and additives to control polysulphide shuttle (the main failure mechanism in traditional Li-S batteries), with lithium anode technology, catalysts, and improved cell designs that will evolve from the acquisition.
OXLiD’s existing partnership with a European cell manufacturer should continue to demonstrate the technology in “commercially relevant pouch cell formats” throughout the coming year, Gelion said.
John Wood, Gelion CEO, said the acquisition will significantly accelerate the development of Gelion’s Li-S technology.
“Having a UK footprint also gives us direct reach into the UK and European markets. Li-S technology, once mastered and commercialized, has the potential to make a significant contribution with its high energy density, relative safety, low cost, and the abundance of sulfur.”
In 2021, Gelion teamed up with the Australian gel lead acid battery firm Battery Energy Power to develop Gelion’s zinc bromide batteries.