Altech Chemicals raises $12.1m to progress battery materials pilot plant in Germany

Altech Chemicals ASX ATC battery materials pilot plant Germany
Altech Chemicals will use raising proceeds to purchase land for its battery materials plant in Germany, complete a prefeasibility study on the plant’s construction and fund the definitive feasibility study.

Altech Chemicals (ASX: ATC) has completed an $8.1 million share placement and launched a $4 million share purchase plan to advance its efforts in battery materials development.

The funds will be used for the purchase of land at the Schwarze Pumpe industrial park in Germany and the subsequent construction of a 10,000 tonnes per annum battery materials pilot plant by subsidiary by Altech Industries Germany GmbH.

It will also be used for the completion of a preliminary feasibility study in relation to the plant and a definitive feasibility study, and for working capital purposes.

In parallel to the capital raising, Altech has initiated a share purchase plan for new investors, priced at $0.107 per share and representing a 24% discount to the volume weighted average price at end November.

Existing shareholders will be eligible to apply for up to $30,000 of shares at the same price as placement participants.

Approximately 76 million shares will be issued in a single tranche to raise an additional $4 million which will also be put toward the pilot plant construction.

Alumina coating technology

Altech has been applying its alumina coating technology to silicon and graphite particles typically found in lithium-ion battery anodes used within the burgeoning electric vehicle industry.

Last month, the company announced it had “cracked the silicon barrier” by producing alumina-coated particles which demonstrate a greater energy retention capacity compared to conventional lithium-ion battery anode materials.

The breakthrough came by combining regular battery-grade graphite with silicon particles treated with Altech’s innovative proprietary coating technology to produce a lithium-ion battery electrode containing a composite graphite-silicon anode.

When energised, the materials held 30% more capacity compared to a conventional graphite-only anode.

Laboratory testing also appeared to resolve previous lithium-ion anode obstacles such as silicon particle swelling; prohibitive first-cycle-capacity-loss of up to 50%; and rapid battery degradation from the charge/discharge cycle.

Altech said the batteries demonstrated good stability and cycling performance over extended periods.

Step change

The lithium-ion battery industry has recognised a required step change to increasing battery energy density and reducing costs is to introduce silicon into battery anodes.

Silicon metal has been identified as the most promising anode material for the next generation of batteries as it has up to 10 times the energy retention capacity of traditional graphite.

Its commercial adoption has been limited by particle swelling and capacity loss obstacles.

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