Birla Carbon, a manufacturer of carbon black solutions, said it joined a collaboration to develop and scale up the production of biocrude-derived graphite for lithium-ion batteries – Biocrude Derived Anode Material (BDAM).
Its collaboration partners are NC State University (NCSU), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Ensyn, the Battery Innovation Center (BIC) and Yale University. Birla is part of India’s Aditya Birla Group. Birla spokesperson Roysten Dmello said they have just held a kick-off meeting for this multi-year project. “We are in very early stages of development at this point.”
In June 2021, the US Department of Energy announced proposals to provide funding to NCSU to design, fabricate, and test a novel delayed coker reactor with the project partners, including Birla. The reactor would be designed to process bio-oils into graphite and solid carbons for use in battery manufacturing applications.
Dr Ann Schoeb, Chief Research and Development Officer of Birla Carbon, said: “As a key player in this collaboration project, Birla Carbon will convert the biocrude-derived coke to battery-grade graphite using a new-to-the-world graphitisation technology, which greatly improves the sustainability of battery materials production by both increasing product output and decreasing energy usage.”
After obtaining the results, the materials characterisation, techno-economic analysis and life cycle analysis will be conducted at Birla Carbon, NC State, NREL, and Yale, the company said.
Birla plans to use renewable feedstocks in its graphite production.