Zinium is a French innovative start-up, created in 2016 at the initiative of EDF, which develops and produces a clean Zinc-Air rechargeable battery for stationary use. Our company gathers more than 30 experts, including PhD holders, specialists and experimented, diverse profiles.
We are deeply convinced that citizens are concerned by climate change, want to act and expect solutions to help them participate in the energy transition. We intend to bring a solution with a zinc-air clean battery technology, allowing the new decentralized energy markets to shape a greener, cleaner world.
Zinium is a finalist for the 2020 ees AWARD and presented a rechargeable zinc-air battery for stationary applications. It is 95 percent reusable and available from 20 to 200 kWh. Two years from now, the product should cost around 200 euros per kWh – less than that of lithium-ion batteries.
ees International: Thank you very much for this interview and congratulations to being a finalist for the ees AWARD! Your passion is all about battery technology. How do you envision electric storage and renewable energy of the future?
Zinium: Renewable energy is, to us, the key to developing decentralized and responsible energy systems. Storage equipment will accompany this energy transition to shape a greener, cleaner world.
ees International: You were nominated for the award because of an innovative battery technology that is particularly environmentally friendly. Tell us more about it.
Zinium: Zinium has created a rechargeable zinc-air battery using a 3electrode cell design. The system is modular and can combine as many cells as required to reach a specific capacity from 20 to 200kWh. This zinc-air technology features non negligible key benefits. First of all, it is perfectly safe: there is no risk of thermal runaway or explosion, which is a huge advantage compared to other technologies. We conducted several abusive tests which all confirm the safe and limited reaction of our products in extreme situations. Then, we wanted to develop an eco-friendly sustainable technology : we use no precious metal, no toxic material, no rare earth. Zinc is abundant on earth and recycling processes already exist in Europe. The extraction of minerals in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile in the salt mines is a real scandal for the planet because, by requiring up to 2 billion liters of water per ton of ore extracted, this represents sometimes more than 60% of water resources in some regions. Last but not least, the zinc-air technology has a bright future: it has amazing development perspectives. For example, on the long-run, zinc-air could have an energy density as twice as high compared to lithium-ion.
ees International: What does the nomination for the ees AWARD mean for your company?
Zinium: We are really proud to be selected as one of the finalists for the EES AWARD 2020, this is a great achievement for our company and for our R&D teams. Our company was created in 2016 as a spin-off of the EDF laboratories in order to develop and produce a clean rechargeable Zinc-Air technology for stationary batteries. Being nominated at the AWARD 2020 is important for us to let the people know that there are promising new technologies being developed in Europe to improve the carbon impact of the battery industry and facilitate the energy transition.
ees International: Prototypes have been undergoing real-world testing since 2019. What are your next steps?
Zinium: Yes, to date, we have installed 2 demonstrators of our product: the first one is installed in France for a residential use case, the second one is part of a hybrid micro-grid in Singapore. Concerning our next steps, we have an ambitious technical roadmap, we have also built a partnership with an industrial company for our battery to be soon installed on an industrial site in Paris. We are also looking for development opportunities in Europe as our product is expected to be commercialized in 2021.
ees International: What are particular trends in battery technology that you are interested in? What is future-oriented research currently working on?
Zinium: We think that in the future, electricity storage coupled with PV panels will become the main source of electricity for households, small businesses and small industries. The potential of development of such equipment is huge from both an economic and social perspective. We expect the storage of electricity to become a standard solution in BTM and FTM energy installations for tomorrow, and the industry needs for this development clean, reusable, recyclable and low environmental impact products.
Thank you very much for the interview, Xavier Romon!
The interview partner:
Xavier Romon, Director Marketing and Business Development