UK-based battery materials firm Nexeon is leading a project to optimise coating technology for its silicon material to boost the performance of battery cells.
Nexeon said the ‘Spice’ (Silicon Product Improvement through Coating Enhancement) project aims to extend the system compatibility of silicon anode materials, “allowing use of lower cost electrolyte formulations and lower overall battery cell costs”.
The launch comes a year after Nexeon was awarded £7 million (US$9m) to support research into silicon-based materials to increase the safety and range of batteries for electric vehicles.
According to Nexeon, the firm’s lithium ion battery anode technology uses silicon in several forms either to enhance or replace the traditional graphite anode. It can be used with graphite as a silicon graphite composite.
Nexeon’s Spice partners include Phoenix Scientific Industries, AGM Batteries and Oxford University’s Department of Materials on the project— supported by £2m in funding through the UK’s government-backed Faraday Battery Challenge.
Nexeon said it has established a laboratory-scale coating process and PSI is designing a chemical vapour deposition coating process.
Nexeon said AGM’s role in Spice is to validate the performance of prototype cells incorporating Nexeon’s coated silicon anode powder “and to open its subsequent routes to market”.