Battery materials firm Altech Chemicals is in the final development stage of its high purity alumina (HPA) grade material designed to increase performance of lithium-ion battery anodes.
The Western Australian-based company is proceeding to an independent verification phase of its method for the alumina coating of graphite particles.
The product and treatment method is expected to improve Coulombic Efficiency (especially in the first cycle), cycling stability, high-rate performance and fast charging capability of lithium-ion batteries.
University and laboratory verification of the process (patent pending) is due for completion during the next quarter. Altech hopes positive verification will result in potential end-user trials, and eventually commercialisation of the process.
The proposed new product formulation includes Altech’s planned fine modified alumina plus some supporting compounds. If the tests are positive, the product range will be produced at the firm’s HPA plant in Johor, Malaysia.
This initiative was in response to lithium-ion battery anode development trends that Altech had identified in Europe from potential HPA users, and work with research organisations such as the internationally renowned Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Institute in Germany.
HPA is applied as a coating on the separator sheets used within a lithium-ion battery to improve battery performance, durability and overall safety.
There is growing trend to use alumina coated graphite particles within the anode because of the positive impacts it has on battery life and performance.
In a lithium-ion battery, typically around 8% of lithium ions are lost during the first battery charge cycle.
First cycle capacity loss in a lithium-ion battery is because of the deposition of lithium ions onto the anode graphite particles within the battery during the initial charging cycle. This forms a layer of material on the anode called a solid electrolyte interphase (SEI).
Altech says that tests have demonstrated that alumina coated graphite particles have the potential to reduce first cycle capacity loss.