- Inclusion of silicon in graphite anode could increase the energy capacity of batteries but possesses technical challenges.
- An Australian company has made the breakthrough and is in process of constructing a silicon graphite battery anode manufacturing plant in Germany.
Consumers are demanding that their new electric vehicles have faster-charging speeds, longer range, and, most importantly, are more affordable. In turn, automakers are looking to find new and innovative solutions to satisfy consumers.
The industry believes that incorporation of higher energy silicon in the graphite anode of the battery will achieve this breakthrough.
To date, silicon has been a cost-prohibitive process plagued by technical challenges, with only small amounts of silicon being added to commercial EV cells in full production today.
That’s all about to change as an Australian company recently completed a pre-feasibility study for a 10,000 tpa Silumina AnodesTM plant in Germany. The Company’s silicon graphite product is not only much higher energy capacity than the conventional graphite anode, but also stable during the life of the battery.
The Company announced in late 2021 that it had achieved a 30% higher energy battery with improved cyclability or battery life and is now in the process of commercial development.
With a capital investment of only US$ 95 million, the pre-feasibility study for the project returns a net present value of US$ 507 million, with yearly net cash of US$ 63 million per annum generated from operations. The internal rate of return of the project is estimated at very attractive 40%. The Company is quickly advancing the project to the next stage of development.
The Company is well positioned to dramatically reduce supply risks by positioning its operation in Germany and sourcing it’s graphite and silicon feedstock from European suppliers.
During the recent crisis in Europe forcing supply chain pressures and rising energy prices, it has demonstrated the importance of European material supply for European battery and EV makers. The manufacturing supply risks are becoming increasingly evident, and more focus will be placed on European supply.
Altech, has established European graphite and silicon feedstock supply partners, and has also achieved green accreditation by the independent Norwegian Centre of International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO). To support the development, the Company will also be constructing a pilot plant next door to allow the qualification process for its Silumina AnodesTM product. The Company has NDAs with two German automakers and a European based battery company.