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New tech extends LiIon battery life, charging in minutes?
(Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 04:59 EST)

Reno, Nevada-based Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. has announced what it says is a breakthrough in Lithium Ion battery electrode materials that will allow faster-charging, longer-lasting Lithium Ion batteries.

Details can be found in the attached press release, but in brief the company says that its research into new electrode materials for Lithium Ion batteries will allow a tripling of battery life, and a reduction of charging time from hours to just a few minutes (!!). The improvement is said to come from a reduction in electrode material fatigue. If the technology pans out, we'd expect digital cameras - as devices that are relatively hard on their power sources - to be an ideal venue to benefit from the improvement.

This is one technology we'd definitely like to see reach the marketplace, if it can live up to its claims!

Original Source Press Release:

Altair Nanotechnologies Achieves Breakthrough in Battery Materials

Altair's Developments Pave the Way for a New Generation of Rechargeable Batteries

RENO, NV -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 02/10/2005 -- Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI) announced today that it has achieved a breakthrough in Lithium Ion battery electrode materials, which will enable a new generation of rechargeable battery to be introduced into the marketplace, as well as create new markets for rechargeable batteries. These new materials allow rechargeable batteries to be manufactured that have three times the power of existing Lithium Ion batteries at the same price and with recharge times measured in a few minutes rather than hours.

The technical achievements are being praised by the battery community as truly remarkable and will likely enable a new generation of rechargeable battery to be produced. Altair has confidentiality agreements in place with some of the world's leading battery development companies to evaluate and commercialize these battery electrode materials.

Altair's research and development efforts were allowed two new patents (announced on January 7th and 14th, 2005) and a National Science Foundation grant was successfully completed in January, 2005, by Altair. New markets for fast charging batteries will include the handheld power tools market increasing the productivity of, for example, construction workers while lowering their overhead costs. Other markets include hybrid electric vehicles, portable electronics and medical surgery tools -- solving the problem of electrical wires all over the operating room floor.

Endorsements for Altair's work in this area have come from many quarters. Two eminent experts in battery technology, Dr. K. M. Abraham and Dr. Vassilis G. Keramidas, have expressed strong support for Altair's work

"The nanomaterials Altair is developing are the next generation of electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries and Altair's research and product development is laying the ground work for a new generation of ultra high power lithium ion batteries," commented Dr. K. M. Abraham. "A key requirement to the above applications is the ability to recharge the battery very quickly, for example in a few minutes. Current Li Ion batteries are incapable of such quick charge times because of the chemistry of the anode materials. Altair has found a solution to this with their nano-sized lithium titanium oxide."

"Altair's nanomaterials, which have a virtually zero strain crystal lattice, eliminate the main cause for battery electrode material fatigue, which limits rechargeable battery life, increasing the number of recharge and discharge cycles from a few hundred to many thousand cycles," said Dr. Vassilis G. Keramidas. "I find Altair's development strategy and proposed research direction sound and a necessary step in establishing the Li-Ion electrochemistry as a viable contender for large battery applications."

"Our research in battery electrode materials is a further indication of how Altair's scientists are able to apply their nanomaterials science knowledge to solving real world needs," commented Altair CEO Dr. Alan J. Gotcher. "Many of the technology and product development initiatives that we have been working on for the last few years are now coming to the commercialization stage. Each step is another validation of our business strategy and product technology platform. Altair's nanomaterial based, micro porous electrode technology has performance and stability advantages that appear to be unmatched when compared to the best commercialized technology in the market today."

Dr. K. M. Abraham

Dr. Abraham, the principal of E-KEM Sciences, has over 28 years of experience in lithium battery research and development. He has made pioneering contributions to the development of the rechargeable battery industry. Dr. Abraham has authored and co-authored over 150 publications and 16 US patents in battery technology. He received his Ph. D. from Tufts University and conducted post-doctoral research at Vanderbilt University and MIT. In 2000 he was elected a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society. Dr Abraham is on Altair's Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Vassilis G. Keramidas

Dr. Keramidas, Managing Director of Keramidas International, provides management consulting to major corporations on the formulation and execution of their research and development. Prior to founding Keramidas International, he was Vice President of Applied Research at Telcordia Technologies (formerly Bellcore). His division at Telcordia made seminal contributions in the fields of photonic and electronic materials. The Bellcore research on energy storage ushered in the polymer battery Li-Ion technology with the invention of the Bellcore Plastic Li-Ion (PLiON) technology. Dr. Keramidas sits on the Board of two battery companies.


Altair Nanotechnologies, through product innovation, is a leading supplier of advanced ceramic nanomaterial technology worldwide. Altair Nanotechnologies has assembled a unique team of material scientists who, coupled with collaborative ventures with industry partners and leading academic centers, has pioneered an impressive array of intellectual property and product achievements.

Altair Nanotechnologies has developed robust proprietary technology platforms for manufacturing a variety of crystalline and non-crystalline nanomaterials of unique structure, performance, quality and cost. The company has a scalable manufacturing capability to meet emerging nanomaterials demands, with capacity today to produce hundreds of tons of nanomaterials.

The company is organized into two divisions: Life Sciences and Performance Materials. The Life Sciences Division is pursuing market applications in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, dental materials, cosmetics and other medical markets. The Performance Materials Division is pursuing market applications in Advanced Materials for paints and coatings; titanium metal manufacturing, catalysts and water treatment; and alternative energy. For additional information on Altair and its nano-materials, visit www.altairnano.com

Altairnano™, Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.®, Altair Nanomaterials™, TiNano®, RenaZorb™, NanoCheck™, TiNano Spheres™ and the Hydrochloride Pigment Process™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements as well as historical information. Forward-looking statements, which are included in accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, may involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the company's actual results and performance in future periods to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested by the forward-looking statements in this release. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the risks that Altair expenses will rise during the following quarters as a result of unexpected cash or non-cash expenses; Altair's numerous development stage products will not be developed to the point of commercialization or that, even if commercialized, no market will exist for such products or Altair will fail to effectively market to customers in a market: the risks that Altair will be unable to enter into license agreements regarding its pigment process (AHPP), RenaZorb, its TiNano Sphere or other developing products, that even if Altair enters into such license agreements, short term revenues from such agreements will not be sufficient to fund Altair's operations in the long run, and that animal testing or future testing of RenaZorb or other products of the company will not be successful and that development will need to be terminated. In general, Altair is, and expects to be in the immediate future, dependent upon funds generated from sales of securities, grants, testing agreements, and licensing agreements to fund its testing, development and ongoing operations. In addition, other risks are identified in the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the SEC. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. The company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements found herein to reflect any changes in company expectations or results or any change in events.

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