Aquion Gets $36.8 Million Funding for Saline Batteries

Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) — Aquion Energy Inc., a battery
manufacturer using a saltwater technology, received $36.8
million from investors including Bill Gates and members of the
Pritzker family.

The funds will be used to expand production at its factory
and increase marketing operations, Pittsburgh-based Aquion said
today in a statement. Investors in this fifth round of venture
capital also included units of Exelon Corp. and oil companies
Royal Duth Shell Plc and Total SA.

Aquion says its batteries cost about the same as the
lithium-ion kind, contain no toxic metals and pose no risk of
overheating. A unit about the size of a dishwasher can provide
back-up power for a home for as many as four hours.

The saltwater batteries were developed at Carnegie Mellon
University by chemistry professor Jay Whitacre, who began work
on the energy storage process in 2007 and now is chief
technology officer.

The company’s newest battery was designed to charge over
four to eight hours, matching the typical peak in solar power
production.

“These batteries are ideal to install with rooftop solar
systems,” Whitacre said in an Oct. 22 interview.

(An earlier version of this story corrected the spelling of
the company’s name in the third paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story:
Christopher Martin in New York at
cmartin11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Carlos Caminada, Tina Davis

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