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Nanotechnology Holds a Key to U.S. Alternative Energy Goals

RENO, Nev.--June 14, 2006--Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. CEO and President Alan J. Gotcher, PhD, will brief the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, June 14 on the important role Altairnano could play in the deployment of alternative energy sources, including those that could be used to power electric automobiles, critical facilities and installations, and a diverse range of military applications

Although Altairnano is operating on a variety of promising fronts, Dr. Gotcher said the company's work on nano lithium ion battery materials appears to embody the greatest near-term potential for significant real world applications.

"We are developing an advanced lithium ion battery: affordable, environmentally clean, with a range of operational capabilities applicable to high power uses that no conventional battery can match," Dr. Gotcher will tell Congress. The end result could set a new baseline standard in energy storage and power delivery.

It's a timely development, Dr. Gotcher will tell lawmakers, as "it will take a major breakthrough in electrical power management if the U.S. is to make tangible, near-term achievements in reducing our nation's increasing dependence on foreign sources of petroleum and natural gas, and thereby enhancing national energy independence, while also reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are produced by our growing energy consumption."

Dr. Gotcher will demonstrate the impact the Altairnano battery technology could have with a number of examples of its potential use in a variety of applications. The examples will describe the potential of the technology, and in each case assume that independent third parties will make necessary investments into the products and related infrastructure to fully develop the applications. These examples will include:

        Auto Industry Applications

        Advanced batteries of the type Altairnano is developing could
        enable the US auto industry to "leapfrog" the next generation
        of hybrid drive vehicles, where US industry and its technology
        are behind its Asian competitors, Dr. Gotcher will testify.

        An Altairnano battery sized for an average five-passenger
        sedan could enable automakers to design an all-electric
        vehicle with similar performance and comfort to today's
        internal combustion-engine cars, Dr. Gotcher will inform

        He will state that the Altairnano goal is to deliver battery
        capabilities that could provide a sedan with a 200-plus-mile
        driving range, no degradation of operation over that entire
        distance; a recharge time of under 6 minutes (or about the
        time it takes to fill the tank of a large SUV); a battery that
        is completely safe from explosion or leakage of hazardous
        contents, and not least, no carbon dioxide emissions of any

        "As an indirect benefit, we believe that we will not have to
        compromise technical and economic competitiveness in the auto
        industry in order to have cleaner air," Dr. Gotcher will
        state. "Such a vehicle is not 20 years away. Cars based on the
        Altairnano battery technology could be in the market much
        sooner provided the automotive manufacturers decide to design
        and produce them, and the power recharging station
        infrastructure is built."

        Stationary Power Applications

        Dr. Gotcher will describe how existing telephone and
        communications networks (commercial and military) rely upon an
        infrastructure of backup power based on lead acid batteries.
        He will state that these batteries typically require
        replacement every three years, and pose hazardous waste issues
        around both their manufacture and disposal.

        He will contrast this with nano lithium ion batteries based on
        Altairnano's technology, which are projected to have a life of
        possibly as much as 15-20 years and be fully reliable in all
        conditions; pose no hazardous materials issues; and can be
        economically competitive with lead acid batteries.

        Military Applications

        Dr. Gotcher will describe how at sea naval ships could improve
        electrical power availability and reduce fuel costs by
        deploying Altairnano's battery technology in a distributed
        power, 24x7 availability configuration.

        He will go on to illustrate how on land the US Army could
        replace "use-once-and-dispose" batteries with rechargeable
        batteries using Altairnano technology. The fast-charge (in
        minutes) capability of Altairnano's battery technology removes
        the obstacle of using conventional rechargeable (charge in
        hours) batteries. This could reduce deployment logistics and
        costs as well as improve the life of the US foot soldier.

        And he will finish with an example of potential battery
        deployment in air planes, missiles, and spacecraft which all
        need reliable power-on-demand, with very quick discharge
        rates, in batteries that can withstand temperature extremes
        without any serious degradation of capability. In many
        instances, Altairnano's nano lithium ion batteries could
        replace current batteries, with significantly less weight and
        taking up around half the space requirements--thus allowing
        for larger payloads, increased speeds, or extended range. 

The Role of Government in Stimulating Innovation

Dr Gotcher will maintain that the US lead in nanotechnology will require close cooperation between government and industry. He will be encouraging Congress to continue funding research in this area and to achieving a regulatory environment that is realistic and based on facts. Dr Gotcher will state that the US present lead in nanotechnology will help us to gain the lead in alternative energy technology deployment, and thus lead to energy security--but only if government works with industry to regulate only what demonstrably needs to be regulated, and only to the degree that regulation is an effective aid to the industry and not a serious hindrance.

Dr. Gotcher's testimony on "Nanotechnology in Alternative Energy" will take place before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, on Wednesday, June 14, at 10 a.m., in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562. A live webcast of the presentation can be viewed at . A copy of his testimony will be available on the company's website,, June 15, 2006.


Altairnano is an innovator and supplier of advanced ceramic nanomaterials. With a skilled team of scientists in its 100,000 square foot facility who, coupled in collaborative ventures with industry partners and leading academic centers, have developed a unique portfolio of intellectual property and novel products. These researchers are complemented by a seasoned management team with substantial experience in commercializing innovative, disruptive technologies.

Altairnano focuses on nanotechnology applications to enable new high-growth markets. In alternative energy Altairnano is pioneering new battery materials and systems. The company is applying nanotechnology to the development of drug candidates for humans and companion animals, coatings materials for implants, and materials for dental applications. Its high performance nanomaterials have applications in paints, coatings, and the treatment of water and air. The Altairnano Hydrochloride Pigment process, the first new patented pigment process in 50 years, is an environmentally friendly method for manufacturing white pigment used in paints, paper and plastic. For additional information visit

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