our history

Did you know that Allesandro Volta relied on zinc to build the world’s first battery two Centuries ago? Or that the father of electricity, Thomas Edison, patented a NiZn battery in 1801?  And that zinc is considered by many to be the leading chemistry beyond lithium?

Our Story

Over the Years

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1800
First Electric Battery
First electric battery, the Voltaic Pile is invented.  Zinc and copper form the basis, after testing many metals.
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1836
First ‘Practical’ Battery

The first practical battery with relatively long life, the Danielle Cell, is invented.  Also based on zinc chemistry.

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1866
First Rechargeable Battery
The Lalanché cell (wet cell) is the first rechargeable battery.  It uses zinc and manganese dioxide, the same two elements found in most household batteries to this day.
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1886
First Zinc Dry Cell Battery
Innovations on the wet cell create the zinc carbon battery, or dry cell.  It enables a range of inventions, from the flashlight to early telephones, and forms the backbone of how batteries will be built for the next 75 years.
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1901

Thomas Edison Patents NiZn Battery

Thomas Edison patents the first NiZn battery.  Edison also focuses on zinc in experiments with Zinc Air and Zinc-Copper batteries, utilizing them to power inventions such as his phonographs, railway signals and electric fans. 

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1959

Eveready Comercializes Alkaline Battery

The alkaline battery is commercialized by Eveready (later renamed Energizer).  It is built on a powdered zinc anode and is a major improvement on lifespan over zinc carbon batteries.  To this day, more than 80% of batteries in the US use a variation of this alkaline chemistry.

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1973

Zinc-Bromine Hybrid Flow Battery Developed

A hybrid flow battery system is developed by Exxon, using a zinc-bromine chemistry.

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1993

NiZn Technology Breakthrough at Stanford University

A breakthrough in NiZn technology is achieved at Stanford University, with an improved electrolyte.  This solves issues that had dogged Edison in his work and all others to follow. 

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2000

NiZn Batteries Commercialized

A California company is the first to commercialize Nickel-Zinc batteries.  This is made possible by a major breakthrough out of Stanford University – improving upon the electrolyte and solving issues that had hindered these batteries since the first produced by Edison.  Thousands of installations of nickel-zinc batteries have followed. 

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2012

Large Format Zn Air Batteries Commercialized

The first large-format zinc air batteries are commercialized, although the technology has been used for decades in small applications such as hearing aids.  With a very high theoretical energy density, they have been described as Arguably the only technically and economically viable solution for fast-charging EVs in the future.” 

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2010-2020

Zn-Based Battery Chemistries Gain Market Traction

A number of other intriguing technologies emerge – such as rechargeable large format Zn-Mn, Zn-ion, and others.  These technologies each have a niche and are being developed to support some of the greatest issues of our time – including renewable energy, electric vehicles and data center proliferation. 

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2020

Zinc Battery Initiative Launched

Zinc producers and zinc battery manufacturers join together to launch the Zinc Battery Initiative; a partnership to raise awareness of the many safety, performance and sustainble advantages of zinc batteries.

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