SOURCE: Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.

June 30, 2005 08:00 ET

Altair Nanotechnologies Receives SBIR Phase II Grant From U.S. National Science Foundation

Company Receives Research Grant of $476,850 to Continue Development on Nano-Structured Electrodes for Next Generation Batteries and Super Capacitors

RENO, NV. -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 30, 2005 -- Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI) announced today that it has been awarded a SBIR Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant of $476,850, titled "Carbon-Coated Nano-Structured Electrodes for Next-Generation Lithium-Ion Batteries," will be used for continuation of a research, development and manufacturing program focused on nano-structured Li ion hosts usable in electrodes for lithium ion batteries and super capacitors. This work is to be completed over a 24-month period beginning October 1, 2005.

"We are pleased to announce our latest grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation," said Alan J. Gotcher PhD, CEO and President of Altairnano. "What makes this competitive award significant is the selection of Altairnano by a peer review process, whose selection criteria is heavily weighted on the viability of our battery materials product technology commercialization plan."

Phase I of the NSF grant was used to optimize the Altairnano anode electrode materials. Phase II will be used to develop Altairnano cathode electrode materials resulting in matched Altairnano anode-cathode electrode materials for optimum electrochemical performance.

Under terms of the Small Business Innovation Research Phase ll grant award, proceeds will be used to continue funding of research, development, joint testing and manufacturing development work with Rutgers University's Energy Storage Research Group and Hosokawa Micron's Nano Particle Technology Center. Included in the funding is the production of demonstration scale prototype, high-power batteries (0.5 to 6 Ahr) from carbon coated Li-ion hosts developed under the grant.

About SBIR Grants

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages small business to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's research and development arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs. Since its enactment in 1982, as part of the Small Business Innovation Development Act, SBIR has helped businesses to compete for federal research and development awards. Their contributions have enhanced the nation's defense, protected our environment, advanced health care, and improved our ability to manage information and manipulate data.

About Altairnano's Battery Electrode Materials Research

The goals of Altairnano's battery research program are to develop battery electrode materials for incorporation into existing lithium ion battery systems and to assist in the creation of a new generation of safe lithium batteries displaying fast charge and recharge characteristics with significantly improved cycle life -- characteristics desired by many manufacturers of lithium batteries. The market today for lithium battery electrode materials is estimated by "Market Researcher" to be $2B per year worldwide.

In July 2004, Altairnano and its development partners Hosokawa Micron and Rutgers University's Energy Storage Research Group through a $100,000 Phase l SBIR Grant began work on a development project entitled "Carbon-Coated Nano-Structured Electrodes for Next-Generation Lithium-Ion Ultra Batteries." With the successful completion of the development program, Altairnano applied for the Phase ll grant for continued development.

ALTAIR NANOTECHNOLOGIES INC.

Altairnano is a supplier and innovator of advanced ceramic nanomaterial technology. Based in Reno, Nevada, Altairnano has assembled a unique team of material scientists who, coupled with collaborative ventures with industry partners and leading academic centers, have pioneered an array of intellectual property and products.

Altairnano has developed robust proprietary technology platforms for manufacturing a variety of crystalline and non-crystalline nanomaterials of unique structure, performance, quality and cost. The company has scalable manufacturing capability to meet emerging nanomaterials demands, with capacity today to produce hundreds of tons of nanomaterials.

Altairnano is organized into two divisions: Life Sciences and Performance Materials. The Life Sciences Division is pursuing market applications in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, dental materials and other medical markets. The Performance Materials Division is pursuing market applications in Advanced Materials for paints and coatings; titanium metal manufacturing, catalysts, water treatment and alternative energy. For additional information on Altairnano and its nano-materials, visit www.altairnano.com

Altairnano™, Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.®, RenaZorb™, NanoCheck™, TiNano Spheres™ and the Hydrochloride Pigment Process™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements as well as historical information. Forward-looking statements, which are included in accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, may involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the company's actual results and performance in future periods to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested by the forward-looking statements in this release. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the risks that battery electrode materials tested and developed in the SBIR Phase II research program or in related research and development projects will not achieve desired charge and discharge rates or will not have other characteristics required for broad commercial application of the technology; that Altairnano's battery electrode materials are included in commercially produced batteries, such batteries will not function as anticipated; that competing battery electrode materials developed, or being developed, by other entities will prove superior to materials being developed by Altairnano, or, for various reasons unrelated to performance, one or more competing technologies will retain or capture dominant market share. In addition, other risks are identified in the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the SEC. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements found herein to reflect any changes in company expectations or results or any change in events.

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