A Mars rover scientist is about to scale carbon-oxygen batteries

Noon Energy, which has developed “ultra-low-cost, high energy density carbon-oxygen battery technology for long-duration energy storage” for solar and wind power, today announced that it’s secured $28 million in Series A financing to commercialize its technology.

Boston-based Clean Energy Ventures and Aramco Ventures’ new Sustainability Fund (as in, Saudi oil Aramco) led the round. Noon Energy previously closed on a $3 million seed round in April 2021.

Chris Graves, Noon Energy’s founder and CEO (pictured above center), launched the company in 2018 after helping to develop NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover MOXIE device, which produces oxygen from the Martian carbon dioxide atmosphere.

The 10-person team at Noon Energy has since developed a battery that stores energy in carbon and oxygen using “nature-based chemistry principles.” So metals such as lithium and cobalt aren’t needed, and Noon Energy says its battery requires just 1% of other critical elements compared to lithium-ion batteries.

The Palo Alto-based startup says its battery offers more than 100 hours of energy storage at at one-tenth the cost of lithium-ion batteries for long-duration storage. And because it’s extremely dense, that means a compact footprint three times smaller than current lithium-ion batteries. 

In the past 14 months, Noon Energy says its team has achieved a 50x scale-up of its core technology and that it plans to bring its battery to market in two years.  

David Miller, cofounder and managing partner at Clean Energy Ventures, said:

Noon Energy’s technology has far greater potential as modular, scalable, and low-cost long-duration energy storage than any other approach we’ve ever seen, and therefore can enable any system, from a single home, to an entire grid, to run on 100% solar and wind.

Noon’s approach to long-duration storage is not only inspiring but proven, and we look forward to supporting this world-class team as they continue to scale and enable 100% renewables penetration.

Top comment by Actually Thoughtful

Liked by 7 people

This is the way. We are in the very earliest days of an all-electric/low -or no-carbon grid. Innovation will certainly happen, and looking outside of traditional metals-based chemistry is very promising, just because we've "mined" various lithium ion chemistries for well over a decade. 2 years is a long time, and it is also the blink of an eye. There is a CO2/heat pump battery out there, too - which also holds great promise.

Human ingenuity will provided the few tools we still need to end our fossil fuel addictions.

PS - "3 times smaller" isn't a thing.

View all comments

Noon Energy’s website gives very little away, but it’s hiring in order to scale up. Its next move will be to build demonstration products to test its carbon-oxygen batteries in the field.

Read more: This game-changing big ‘brick toaster’ battery is now on the market

Photo: Noon Energy

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.