CalSEED awards $450,000 to EnZinc to develop its rechargeable zinc batteries


Prototype zinc micro sponge cells being built in the EnZinc lab in Richmond, CA.

EnZinc Inc., a clean battery technology developer bringing rechargeable zinc batteries to market, was awarded $450,000 by the California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development (CalSEED) program for demonstrating the significant commercial promise of its energy innovation. The award comes at the same time the company revealed its prototype zinc-anodes have surpassed the critical 500-cycle test.

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What’s cool? EnZinc’s rechargeable zinc sponge anode technology allows zinc, for the first time, to be used in a family of high-performance rechargeable batteries. The anode’s structure allows the battery to provide more than three times the energy and have two to three times the lifespan of lead acid batteries while costing about the same. The battery is totally recyclable and much safer to use than either lead or lithium-based batteries.

“This award not only recognizes the commercial viability of our innovative battery but also enables our team to continue developing a clean, safe battery that fills a critical need in the energy storage market,” said Michael Burz, EnZinc founder and CEO. “The world needs safe and effective energy storage solutions for everything from microgrids to electric mobility. The recognition and financial support of CalSEED and the California Energy Commission will help bring this better battery to market.”

EnZinc, along with Antora Energy, Icarus RT, ReJoule, SiLi-ion, and Takachar, won CalSEED’s third annual Prototype Awards which awards a total of $2.7 million in non-dilutive capital. The winners were selected after submitting business plans developed in part through participation in Cleantech Open (CTO)’s accelerator program.

The award was open only to startups that have previously been selected as a CalSEED Concept Awardee, a competitive program for early-stage clean energy startups. A technical advisory committee made up of clean energy experts selected the most promising clean energy innovations of the future. The CalSEED program, administered by New Energy Nexus, will provide $24 million in grants over five years to clean energy entrepreneurs, and is part of the California Energy Commission’s EPIC program, which invests around $120 million in innovative clean energy technologies each year to benefit the ratepayers of California’s three largest electric investor-owned utilities.

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