Chemours makes investment in utility energy storage battery maker

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The Chemours Company announced a strategic partnership that includes an investment in UniEnergy Technology LLC, a flow battery manufacturer based in Mukilteo, WA.

UniEnergy makes batteries that maintain storage capacity over 20 years and has deployed a battery array used by an electric utility in the state of Washington. Chemours has membrane material used in the energy storage process.

Flow batteries use two chemical components that are dissolved in liquids within the system and separated by a membrane.

“There is increasing demand for renewable energy from utilities, end users and governments around the world – a demand to provide reliable distributed power without emissions and reliance on fossil fuels,” Chemours stated in a release. “However, the greatest barrier to widespread adoption of renewable energy has been a long-duration, flexible and scalable way to store this energy to ensure intermittent renewable resources work directly for consumers and utilities when the sun doesn’t shine, and the wind doesn’t blow.”

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UniEnergy’s redox flow battery is based on a new electrolyte developed at Pacific Northwest National Labs under the support of the US Department of Energy Energy Storage Program.

This strategic partnership will consist of an investment in UniEnergy as well as a long-term and exclusive supply agreement for Chemours’ Nafion ion exchange membranes. The strategic partnership will enable Chemours to further develop the Nafion product offering as the industry standard for applications in energy storage, the release stated.

The energy market is a key growth area for Chemours Fluoroproducts business. As smart grids develop and energy storage needs increase, the use of fluoropolymers in renewable energy generation and storage applications is expected to grow approximately 20 percent annually over the next ten years.

“Chemours is establishing itself as a new kind of chemistry company, and I believe this partnership is another example,” said Mark Vergnano, CEO of Chemours. “The partnership aligns well with our recently announced Corporate Responsibility Commitments by not only enabling the competitiveness and proliferation of renewable energy but doing so withChemours unique membrane technology that works together with a fully recyclable electrolyte.”

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