UW’s Clean Tech Start-up EnerG2 Takes a Giant Step With “First in the World” Manufacturing Plant

UW start-up EnerG2, which develops advanced materials for energy storage, is hitting the growth accelerator. The seven-year-old company, with 25 employees in its Seattle headquarters, is progressing to the large-scale manufacturing stage. The company broke ground in August for a $28-million manufacturing plant in Albany, Ore., largely funded by a $21.3-million federal stimulus grant from the Department of Energy.

When the high-tech facility goes online in October 2011 it will be the world’s first commercial-scale facility for manufacturing nano-engineered, high-performance carbon electrode material. This innovative product is a core component of ultracapacitors, which store and release energy up to a thousand times faster than traditional batteries—and they never wear out. Heavy-duty electric hybrid vehicles such as big trucks now use ultracapacitors to improve battery performance and fuel efficiency.

From UW engineering lab to venture-backed start-up

While studying for his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering under Professor Guozhong Cao, UW alumnus Aaron Feaver developed the core process for making nanostructured synthetic carbon powder. Feaver, now EnerG2’s Chief Technology Officer, co-founded the company together with Rick Luebbe, CEO, and Chris Wheaton, Chief Operating and Financial Officer. UW’s Center for Commercialization (C4C) worked with Feaver and his colleagues to patent the technology and to obtain UW commercialization funding. As the technology matured, C4C licensed the technology into the start-up and assisted in securing venture capital. EnerG2 has raised $14.5 million in equity financing since 2003.

Visions of rendering gasoline obsolete

EnerG2 is poised to stake out a leadership role in supplying activated carbon to capacitor manufacturers. Its synthetic carbon is purer than carbon powder made from natural sources and greatly increases the efficiency of ultracapacitors at lower cost. The company’s future appears bright because the ultracap industry is on an upward trajectory with expanding use in hybrid vehicles, power technology for massive data centers, wind farms, and a host of other potential applications.

This company has a big vision for exerting a huge impact on the New Energy Economy: improve electrical energy storage – cost, weight, lifetime, and capacity to render gasoline obsolete. Hear EnerG2 in their own words.

Read EnerG2’s Press Release detailing their advancement of the science of energy storage on PRWeb.