The founder of a lithium battery component testing laboratory believes graphitic anode manufacture could be brought to the USA, obviating the need to buy the material from China and bolstering US battery manufacturing industry.
Ed Buiel, founder of Coulometrics told the Florida battery seminar that from his evaluations, most natural graphites were essentially the same but the differences came in purification.
By and large this was typically carried out using environmentally unfriendly processes in China, involving Hydrofluoric acid and Hydrochloric acid.
Even if permitting for such process could be obtained in the US, the finished product would not be as pure as the graphite using a thermal process, which Coulometrics had developed in association with Pyrotek.
The new method of graphite production still involves micronizing and spheronizing the graphite before thermally treating it.
“This technology gives all junior graphite suppliers a chance to compete in the market for lithium anode material, Buiel told BBB.
The company has raised US$10 million to develop anode foils for battery evaluation.