Altech Chemicals (ASX: ATC) has lodged a patent with IP Australia to protect its technology for coating anode active materials with high purity alumina.
At present, HPA is applied as a coating on separator sheets used in the lithium-ion battery. The HPA coated sheeted improve battery performance, endurance and safety.
Altech noted its HPA coating technology for the anode component in the lithium-ion battery can also result in improved battery life and performance.
When applied to anode materials such as graphite or silicon, Altech’s HPA coating serves an artificial solid electrolyte interface to reduce lithium-ion losses during each charge and discharge cycle of the battery.
Altech announced the technology in September last year, where it demonstrated it was able to apply a “very uniform” and consistent nano-metre scale HPA coating layers on graphite anode particles.
This was followed with battery testing.
During this evaluation, HPA coated batteries were compared again non-coated standard anode grade graphite particles.
The cells underwent 100 cycles of charge and discharge with results described as “positive” and “very encouraging” for the batteries with anodes coated in Altech’s technology.
HPA coated graphite anode batteries demonstrated battery life improvements as well as better capacity and chargeability.
German HPA coating plant
With the positive results, Altech has already begun a pre-feasibility study for constructing a HPA coating plant in Germany for battery materials.
The study involves a phase one plant with capacity to coat 10,000 tonnes per annum of anode graphite using Altech’s technology.
Assuming the forecast demand for anode graphite in Europe will reach about 500,000tpa by 2025, Altech’s proposed plant could meet 4% of the region’s requirements.
A 14,000ha site for the plant has been identified at the Schwarze Pumpe Industrial Park in Saxony.
HPA feedstock for the plant will ultimately be supplied from Altech’s 4,500tpa plant in Johor, Malaysia.
The company is also looking for alternate precursor supply to enable the German plant to have a timeline independent of Johor.