Seattle, Washington-based EnerG2, a seven-year-old company focused on introducing advanced nano-structured materials for next-generation energy storage, broke ground on its first facility dedicated to the commercial-scale production of synthetic high-performance carbon electrode material for use in ultracapacitor energy storage devices.

EnerG2 anticipates that ultracapacitors containing its materials will be used by the automotive industry for hybrid electric vehicles, by electronics manufacturers for enhancing the life and usability of consumer goods, and by a variety of industrial customers to deliver an breadth of new ways to improve energy efficiency.

EnerG2’s manufacturing approach revolves around mass customization of electrode materials that enhance energy and power density in ultracapacitors. Originally working in collaboration with the University of Washington Department of Materials Science & Engineering, EnerG2 has developed and commercialized unique sol-gel processing technologies to construct its carbon materials.

Sol-gel processing, which creates optimal structure and purity in the finished carbon product, is a chemical synthesis that gels colloidal suspensions to form solids through heat and catalysts.

EnerG2 developed a proprietary method to control the hydrolysis and condensation reactions within the gelling process, allowing the materials’ surface structures and pore-size distributions to be shaped, molded and customized for a variety of applications.

In designing and constructing the a manufacturing facility to support this approach, EnerG2 will partner with Albany-based Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. (OFD), a current manufacturing partner. OFD will help the company design elements of this commercial-scale plant for the production of energy storage materials.

Among the company’s supporters are the University of Washington; the Washington Technology Center, a state-supported economic development agency that finances applications of university research; WRF Capital; the Sustainability Investment Fund; Northwest Energy Angels; the Frontier Angel Fund; OVP Venture Partners; Firelake Capital Management; and Yaletown Venture Partners.

In addition to the federal stimulus funding, EnerG2 since inception has raised over $14.5 million in equity financing. Institutional investors OVP and Firelake led a Series A financing and additional strategic investors added new equity funding in April of this year.