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Dutch firm secures cash boost to expand production of silicon material for lithium-ion batteries

Wed, 02/24/2021 - 13:30 -- Paul Crompton

Dutch battery materials firm E-magy has secured €5 million ($6 million) to increase production of its silicon, lithium-ion battery material and accelerate qualification programs with automakers and battery manufacturers.

The cash boost from Dutch venture capital fund SHIFT Invest will enable the firm to expand its team and build a facility in the Netherlands to boost annual capacity to ‘thousands of tons per year’ in 2023.

Casper Peeters, co-founder and CEO, told BEST: “The EV industry has an urgent need for vast amounts of affordable batteries with high energy density. 

“To that end, EV and battery manufacturers are constantly on the lookout for new technologies. Our partners test batteries with anodes based on E-magy silicon for qualification of the material in their battery systems. 

“These are programs in multiple stages, starting with validating the performance in pouch cells, followed by larger volume tests and studies which include aspects such as thermal behaviour, safety, mass producibility and commercial feasibility.”

The firm’s nano-sponge powder silicon limits the swelling effect— caused by large volume changes during charge/discharge cycles— of silicon-based anodes, where non-porous silicons suffer and limit the battery lifetime.

Peeters said: “In this way, silicon can be used as anode material, which is beneficial because it has a much higher capacity than graphite. As a result, lithium-ion batteries with anodes containing E-magy silicon have a 40% higher energy density than those based on graphite anode.”

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has committed an innovation credit to accelerate the development of E-magy’s technology.

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