Altech Chemicals has moved a step closer to the development of a battery material plant in Germany after its 75 per cent owned subsidiary, Altech Industries Germany, or “AIG”, inked a Memorandum of Understanding, or “MoU” with two European-based lithium-ion battery grade anode material suppliers.
The newly formed team includes SGL Carbon GmbH, one of the leading graphite producers in Europe and Ferroglobe, a top producer of high purity metallurgical silicone. The former will support AIG’s development of high-purity alumina coated graphite material to be used in the production of lithium-ion batteries, whilst the latter will see Ferroglobe supply silicone anode material to AIG.
AIG is currently running the numbers on a pre-feasibility study, or “PFS”, on a planned 10,000 tonne per annum high-purity alumina, or “HPA”, coating plant in the German state of Saxony, some 200 kilometres from Berlin.
According to AIG, a key consideration in the plants design is the minimisation of environmental impact and as such will operate in accordance with German, European and international environmental standards.
AIG will apply Altech’s proprietary technology to lather HPA coatings across precursor battery anode materials at the plant to develop products for use in the white-hot lithium-ion battery market.
The company recently applied its coating technology to develop a suite of lithium-ion battery anode materials that boasted a 30 per cent higher retention capacity compared to traditional anode materials that contain only graphite.
Altech said at the time that its use of silicone in the development of lithium-ion batteries was a “breakthrough” and the market seemed to agree, with shares in the company shooting around 30 per cent higher following the announcement. The two MoUs were also well received adding another 10 per cent to the company’s market cap which has soared above $150 million – up 200 per cent in the past 6 months.
The ASX-listed company combined silicon particles, treated with its coating technology, with regular battery grade graphite to produce a lithium-ion battery electrode containing a composite graphite-silicon anode.
Prior to Altech’s recent work, the use of metallurgical silicon in lithium-ion batteries was not considered viable due to the material expanding during battery operation resulting in battery failure and silicon deactivating battery-hosted lithium ions, cutting battery efficiency and life.
With Altech advancing the development of its battery material coating plant in Germany, the two MoUs with leading lithium-ion battery grade anode material suppliers have delivered another shot in the arm for the company as it seeks to carve out a position at the forefront of the bubbling sector.
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