Liquid Metal Battery raises $15M in series B financing

Company plans to use the funds to support its plan to build a cheap battery for bulk storage of wind and solar power.

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This prototype shows the makings of an all-liquid battery cell. Martin LaMonica/CNET

Liquid Metal Battery, an MIT spinoff backed by Bill Gates, has secured an additional $15 million in series B financing in a funding round led by Khosla Ventures, the company announced today.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company, which aims to build a cheap battery for bulk storage of wind and solar power, also announced that Andrew Chung, a Khosla Ventures partner, would join the board.

"Our Liquid Metal Battery technology is tremendously exciting because it has the potential to dramatically change the electric power system everywhere," Liquid Metal Battery CEO Phil Giudice said in a statement announcing the new funding. "With this new round of financing, we will be able to accelerate our development efforts and deliver our solutions sooner."

The company was spun out of the lab of Donald Sadoway, a professor of materials chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previous funding for the company has come from France-based oil giant Total and from Gates, who took an interest in the technology after watching Sadoway's lectures online. Sadoway's lab has also received funding from the Department of Energy's ARPA-E research program.

Liquid Metal Battery is taking a radically different approach from lithium ion or other conventional batteries in pursuit of a low-cost system for storing many hours of renewable energy. The active components in the battery -- the anode, the cathode, and electrolyte -- are liquid metal alloys, an approach that promises to make the batteries durable for many years.