Perth-based Altech Chemicals (ASX: ATC) has completed a green credentials assessment for a planned high purity alumina (HPA) battery materials coating plant in Germany.
A detailed carbon dioxide footprint assessment was conducted as part of a pre-feasibility study on the plant being completed by 75%-owned subsidiary company Altech Industries Germany GmbH.
The plant will be located at the Schwarze Pumpe Industrial Park in Saxony and have a capacity of 10,000 tonnes per annum HPA.
The facility has been designed with a focus on minimising any environmental impacts and to satisfy the Equator Principles required by future financiers.
The principles are intended to serve as a common baseline and risk management framework for banks to identify, assess and manage environmental and social risks when financing projects.
The green credentials assessment addressed various environment-friendly design features to be included in the plant’s design such as a hydrochloric acid recovery package which would allow close to 100% of the acid to be recovered and recycled, as well as the use of green electricity generated from renewable sources.
It was also assumed that the plant’s proposed alumina-coated silicon end product, when incorporated with graphite anode battery material, would result in increased lithium-ion battery energy storage capacity.
This extra capacity would transpire into a lower carbon dioxide footprint battery when compared to current lithium-ion batteries which use a graphite-only anode.
Altech said the carbon dioxide emissions reduction would register around 19% where 5% coated silicon is used in a battery anode and up to 52% where 20% coated silicon was used.
HPA is a high-value, high-margin and highly-demanded product as it is a critical ingredient in the production of synthetic sapphire used in the manufacture of substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers and scratch-resistant glass in wristwatch faces, optical windows and smartphone components.
Increasingly, HPA is being used by lithium-ion battery manufacturers as the coating on a battery’s separator to improve performance, longevity and safety.
It is estimated that HPA demand will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 30% until 2028, by which time demand is forecast to be around 272,000t per year.
This will be driven by increased adoption of LEDs worldwide as well as the demand for HPA by lithium-ion battery manufacturers to serve a surging electric vehicle market.