Alpha HPA (ASX: A4N) has successfully manufactured a batch of 99.999% high purity alumina (HPA) coating pre-cursor material for use in coating cathode and anode particles inside lithium-ion batteries.
The pre-cursor material was developed at Alpha’s demonstration plant as part of its HPA First project, which aims to produce 10,000 tonnes per annum of HPA and related products.
This 20kg batch of pre-cursor HPA was generated under a market outreach program in co-operation with Alpha’s marketing and offtake partner Traxys.
Key market opportunity
Alpha claims it has “recognised a key market opportunity” to use its proprietary HPA First solvent extraction and refining technology to develop the pre-cursor material.
According to Alpha, cathode coating application is a “significant growth opportunity” as cathode manufacturers look to stabilise high nickel cathode chemistries.
These pre-cursor materials were created for use as particle scale alumina coating of high-nickel cathode active material (nickel-cobalt-manganese) and synthesis of aluminium-bearing cathode active materials (nickel-cobalt-aluminium and nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminium).
Pre-cursor material is produced under the existing HPA First process flowsheet with no “significant alterations” or interruption to current demonstration plant activities.
“Our ability to manufacture increasingly sought-after pre-cursor product is a particularly exciting development,” Alpha managing director Rimas Kairaitis said.
“The recognition of the flexibility of our process to deliver a number of ultra-high purity products into the lithium-ion value chain is a key opportunity we are looking to rapidly capitalise on,” he added.
Expanded outreach program
In response to this development and co-operation with Traxys, Alpha has expanded its market outreach program.
As a result, the pre-cursor material is available for immediate shipment from Alpha’s Brisbane-based demonstration plant.
In addition to producing pre-cursor coating material for lithium-ion batteries, the outreach program includes development of HPA for sapphire glass and LED end-users.
To-date eight samples have been despatched to the lithium-ion battery supply chain and two have been sent to sapphire glass and LED supply chains.
Throughout the remainder of the 2020, Alpha plans to convert market interest in its high purity alumina products to offtake arrangements.