BR firm gets research grant

Electrochemical Materials LLC of Baton Rouge is receiving a $493,292 grant from the National Science Foundation through the Small Business Innovation Research program, Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said Monday.

The company was founded in 2009 by LSU professor of engineering John Flake and is located at LSU’s Louisiana Business and Technology Center.

Electrochemical Materials LLC will use the funds to develop and commercialize surface-engineered silicon anodes for use in lithium-ion batteries. The new anodes will allow batteries to reach capacities 30 to 40 percent higher than conventional lithium-ion batteries, which will enable people with cellphones, tablets, laptops and other portable devices to use them for longer periods between charging intervals, according to a news release.

“The Gulf South region has a tremendous infrastructure for manufacturing battery-related products and can easily become a leader in this industry,” Flake said in the news release. “Louisiana has a strong energy base and produces a number of the components used in batteries. This grant helps progress toward high-value products which generate significantly higher revenues and more jobs.”