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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Zinc Matrix Grows With Larger Facility

Zinc Matrix Power wants to make gold out of silver. Well, not literally, but the Camarillo company does want to be profitable for its private investors by bringing to market an alternative to the lithium ion batteries used in popular consumer electronic products such as laptop computers and cell phones. The company finds itself in the transition period from the research and development phase to the commercialization phase of its patented silver-zinc batteries. It has added employees of various skill levels and this month moved into a new Camarillo facility to consolidate under one roof the five suites it previously occupied in an industrial park elsewhere in the city. “We are at the top of the list of really good alternative battery technologies to lithium ion,” President and CEO Ross Dueber said. Zinc Matrix seeks to bring to the commercial market high-energy, longer-lasting rechargeable silver-zinc batteries that increase the portability of electronic devices. By using water as an electrolyte rather than a flammable liquid, silver-zinc batteries are also safer. Sony learned the safety lesson last year when thousands of its lithium ion batteries were recalled over concerns they could burst into flames. Zinc Matrix batteries are not at risk for starting fires. “If something goes wrong all the energy is dumped into creating steam,” said Martin Reynolds, an analyst with Gartner, Inc. Zinc Matrix started in 1996 in Santa Barbara and moved to Camarillo three years ago. Dueber joined in 2005 at the urging of investors to oversee the transition period. Intel Corp., PowerVentures, and OnPoint Technologies, a strategic private equity firm funded by the U.S. Army, have invested in Zinc Matrix. Its larger facility puts research and development, process and manufacturing development, and pilot volume production in a single site.

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